During the summer, the weather is beautiful and you want to bring your pup out to play! However, there’s dangers that come with the summer sun. Overheating, dehydration, and possibly the hardest one to catch: Burnt paws. Here are signs to look for, how to protect your furry friend’s paws, and what to do to help if there are burns!
It can be hard to tell when it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. Afterall, we as humans wear shoes when we go outside! Not only that, even if we were to go outside barefoot, our skin is tougher than fresh puppy paws. And even while the air outside may be only warm to us, the pavement and asphalt may be too hot for your pup to walk on!
The easiest way to avoid burnt puppy paws is by walking early in the morning, or much past sunset. This is when the pavement is coolest, because the sun has stopped beating onto the asphalt. While it may seem cold enough in the evening, the pavement may still be too hot to walk on!
You should also put your hands on the pavement as a test. If you can’t comfortably put your hands on your sidewalk for awhile, it’s not safe for your dog’s paws! Not only that, if your dog starts hiding in the shade, it’s probably too hot for a walk.
Another telltale sign that it’s too hot may simply be temperature. When it’s 35 °C / 95 °F, the asphalt may be 65 °C / 149 °F! That is too hot to touch, let alone walk on for a couple of minutes! The safest temperature is generally 20 °C / 70 °F, but in most parts of the world, summers are going to be well over this temperature.
So, what else can you do to protect your pup’s feet?
There’s a couple of solutions to protecting your pup’s feet!
One of the easiest ways to help your pup’s paws is simply walking around while it is cool. This can help toughen up your dog’s paws, and eventually help them avoid burns in the future! However, this won’t keep your pup’s paws soft.
Another solution is doggie shoes. There are shoes that are made to protect your pup’s feet, whether it be heat or cold! Shoes are the perfect barrier between the hot pavement and your puppy’s soft paws. If you’re worried about the shoes causing your pup to overheat, socks are also a decent alternative to shoes. However, not all dogs will be happy troopers about shoes and socks, and they may not be willing to walk with those on!
Another way to help your furry friend’s paws is using wax. There’s a specific paw wax designed to help protect your pup’s paws from heat and even road salt! It’s perfect for keeping paws safe from danger, and it won’t confuse your pup like shoes or socks would.
There are also stick pads that can easily be applied to paws, and cut to fit to your pup’s size. They can be made out of felt or silicone, so whichever material makes your pup the most comfortable is best!
If your pup is showing symptoms of burnt paws such as limping, walking differently, licking or chewing paws, darker paws, blisters, or visible damage to the paws, it is likely that you need to start treatment to help your pup’s paws.
The first thing you will need to do is get your pup off the ground as soon as you notice burned paws. You will also need to help them cool down, by running cool water over their paws, or using a cold compress.
Next, you will need to take a visit to the vet to check on the severity of the burns. Antibiotics may be prescribed to avoid infections if the burns are bad. There also may be prescribed salves for your pup’s paws to help with the healing process. The most important thing to look out for is licking, as it may cause problems with healing, or cause an infection!
It may take some time for burns to heal, as the paws are an area that are constantly moving. The best you can do is to monitor for infection and make sure your pup isn’t in too much pain.