With summer in full swing and temperatures on the rise, it’s important to make sure your pet’s paws stay protected against the hot pavement. Here are some things to keep in mind as you and your pet begin to enjoy those long summer days:
- After the sun goes down, the pavement can remain over 100 degrees for hours.
- In the shade, hot pavement can still be 20 degrees hotter than a grassy patch right next to it.
- Similar to when people get sunburned, your pet's pads can get burned and may continue to get worse as the day and night go on.
- Pad injuries are serious, and pets oftentimes try to start walking on them before they have fully healed, causing injuries to split or break open.
The bottom line is: Pavement gets hot and stays hot for a long time!
But don’t worry; there are solutions to avoid these problems from happening. Follow these 5 tips to keep your pet’s paws safe all throughout the summer!
- Check the ground surface heat by standing on it barefoot! If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet. If you are going in and out of different areas and can’t take off your shoes and stand for a minute, then place the entire palm of your hand on the ground. If you feel any heat coming up, again, it’s too hot.
- Stick to the grass! Avoid asphalt, concrete, and dry hot sand like on the beach. And although piers, boats, boat docks, and truck beds in moving trucks may be brushed with cool breezes, the standing surface can be scorching.
- Dark surfaces heat up more and faster than light surfaces, so be aware of all your walking choices. If your dog has to cross a street, do it quickly! Then immediately get to a cool area.
- Consider dog booties. These are good for crossing streets or for quickly going to and from parking lots, but they are not a 100 percent solution in that they will transmit heat as well. If your dog is standing on hot pavement in booties, soon the booties will heat up too and become like little ovens. Dogs perspire a little from their pads to help them stay cool. So, if their paws are encased in hot booties for an extended time, this can actually begin to overheat your dog, possibly resulting in heat stroke.
- If your dog has to cross a hot street or wear booties for a little while in the heat, then as soon as you can, remove the booties, go to a cool area like a shaded grassy spot or in air conditioning, and dip their paws in water just long enough to get them wet. This will cool them down and will serve to begin cooling their entire body as well.
Even after taking precautions, it’s good to know some signs of pad distress.
- limping, lying down, refusing to walk
- licking or chewing on feet
- trying to “show you” their paws
- darkened pads
- blisters or redness
- part of the pad is missing or bleeding
If you see any of these signs, cool the pads with cool, clean water and take them to a veterinarian right away.
Keep calm and keep those paws cool. Enjoy your summer safely with the best kind of adventure buddy: your pet. And remember to keep your pet protected against fleas and ticks all summer long with PetArmor®.