Protecting your dog’s pads from hot pavement

The Dog Days of Summer are in full swing which means added precautions are necessary to protect our canine friends.  All responsible dog owners know to bring extra water to keep pets hydrated in the summer heat but a lot of us don’t think about how hot the pavement gets and the damage it can cause to our dog’s pads.  Did you know that when it is 87 degrees outside the pavement can reach temperatures of 140 degrees?

Burns to our dog’s pads are very painful and uncomfortable.  Many pad burns can become infected and compromise their health.  There is a simple test to see if the pavement is too hot for a walk.  Place the back of your hand against the pavement and if you can’t hold it there for 5 seconds it is too hot.  If possible, have your pet walk in the grass like in a park.  If walking on hot pavement is unavoidable walking in the morning or evening is best.

If during or after your walk you notice burns on the pads or signs from your dog that they may be in pain you need to remove them from the pavement right away.  This means you may have to carry them to a place where they can cool down.  Try running water over them, or if possible, use a cold compress.  It is important not to let your dog lick or chew on their pads after a burn.  Take your dog to the vet right away when signs of a burn are noticed.  The sooner you get treatment the less the risk of infection.