We have been spoiled a little this year with cooler weather but the Summer heat is coming. As the temperature rises, the sun scorches the Earth’s surface, causing extreme heat to anyone walking on it. Since humans wear shoes for the majority of the time, we do not realize how hot some surfaces have become. Since most dogs do not wear shoes on a daily basis, their paw pads can be very sensitive to this heat. Though their paw pads may seem tough, they are not able to withstand extreme heat. Some dog paw pads can be severely burned from the hot surface causing damage to the pads and even exposing the tissue. This can happen more often than a pet owner may realize.
On hot days, be more aware of your dog’s paw pads. Protect your dog from an injury to the pads from heat exposure. Surfaces like sidewalks, pavement, gravel and even artificial grass, can get extremely hot quick.
Always touch the surfaces.
Even if the air does not feel hot, always touch the ground surface. Feel it with the palm of your hand and or stand with your bare feet.If it is too hot for you, then it is too hot for your dog. Test this first before your dog realizes it is time for a walk. This way, you won’t feel guilty saying no to your dog when he is so excited for that walk. Some dogs have a high pain tolerance, don’t let that fool you. Some dogs are just so focused on their walk and outdoor experience and may not be able to let you know that they are truly feeling pain from the ground temperature. Some dog owners report not noticing anything wrong with their dogs paws until hours after they are home from their walk.
Some booties are designed to help protect dog pads from extreme environments. But even with some hot surfaces the heat can penetrate through just as it can in human shoes. Most dogs also do not appreciate booties as it is not a natural feeling to them. So they may end up being more uncomfortable and they may just want to sit out that walk instead of wearing the booties. Trial short walks first. Also keep in mind the air temperature as you do not want to have a dog overheat with the booties on. Dogs have sweat glands in their paws that they can use to cool down, covering them long term, may cause some issues with the heat.
On hotter days especially in the Summer, plan your walks ahead of time. If you are a morning person, get in an early morning walk, Share a pretty sunrise with your dog. If you are more of an evening walker, then wait until right after sunset. Still feel the ground surface as some surfaces may take longer to drop in temperature. And if it just does not work out for you to take your dog on the walk, then you take your walk as usual and then come home and give your dog some extra play time in your home or if you have an indoor treadmill, train your dog to use it with you.
Also ensure to set up a shady area in your yard for your dog’s potty breaks. Again, test the surface with your bare feet or hands to ensure that even the shaded area is a comfortable temperature.
If you have any questions about protecting your pets paws or have a concern about a possible injury to their paws due to heat exposure, please call us. 714-771-3261.
Written by Susan Aranda