Summer can be a harsh time of year for dogs, but it’s hot pavement that is especially dangerous. While it might be tempting to bring your dog with you everywhere you go this summer, keep in mind that your dog does not have the same foot protection as you do when you’re walking on hot pavement.
Have you ever walked across blacktop barefoot on a hot summer day? That’s what your dog experiences with every step it takes. It can be especially painful for young puppies, whose paws are still quite tender.
With this in mind, here are some tips from a veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ about how you can protect your dog’s paws this summer:
- Only walk your dog when it’s cool out: Always consider the temperature and where you’ll be walking the dog. Morning and late evening are the best times of day to walk dogs during the summer, because the pavement is cool and the air temperature is a little lower.
- Help toughen your dog’s paw pads: When you do go on walks during those cooler times of day, walk your dog on pavement so your dog’s paw pads toughen up. This will provide some natural resistance from damage the dog might experience on unforgiving surfaces.
- Stay on grass: If, for whatever reason, you have no choice but to take your dog out with you during the hotter parts of the day, try to stick to the grass whenever possible. Taking your dog to a dog park or anywhere that has lots of grass and shade is a great way to get your dog some exercise and fresh air on these hot days without risking burning their paws.
- Invest in foot coverings: There are a variety of different types of dog shoes and socks available on the market that you might consider trying for your dog. You’ll have to select a type that won’t come off extremely easily. These foot coverings will take some getting used to for your dog—they almost certainly won’t embrace them right off the bat. However, if your dog is able to adjust to them, they can offer some excellent protection from hot surfaces during the summer.
- Moisturize: While you do want to toughen up your dog’s paw pads, you don’t want to go overboard—they shouldn’t get too dry, otherwise they’ll be more likely to start cracking and peeling. Dryness also makes the dog more susceptible to burns when walking on hot pavement. Therefore, you should consider using some dog moisturizers for your dog’s paw pads, especially when the weather is hot. There are a number of all-natural choices you can use to keep your dog’s paws in good condition.
These are just a few tips that will help you keep your dog’s paws in good shape this summer and avoid burns when walking across hot pavement. For more information, we encourage you to reach out to a veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ.