If you’ve ever hit the beach barefooted on a hot, summer day, you know how painful it can be. You’d trade your kingdom for a pair of flip flops, as it were! Even though our dogs spend every day sans shoes, we can sometimes forget how vulnerable their paws can be to extremes in surfaces and temperature. Here are a few reminders and best practices to keep your dog’s feet healthy and happy for the remainder of the summer!
- Walk your dog on concrete when temperatures are cooler to build up calluses. Calluses provide a little extra protection from temperature extremes.
- Take walks on grassy surfaces or trails when the pavement is too hot.
- Bring your pet inside when the heat and humidity rises to unsafe levels. Turn on the air-conditioning or use plenty of fans on hot, humid days to prevent heat stroke.
- Provide plenty of water on hot days.
- Place a blanket or towel on hot car seats to protect your pet from burns.
- Buy dog booties or socks to protect your pet’s feet if walking on asphalt or cement is unavoidable.
- Never leave your pet in the car. The temperature in a vehicle can become dangerously high in as little as a few minutes, even if you keep the car windows open.
Many thanks to our friends at Carolinas Veterinary Medical Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the following sources:
PetMD: If You Can’t Stand the Heat, 07/28/11
Pet Sitters: How Hot is That Sidewalk?
American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation: Keeping Dogs’ Paws Healthy, 11/19/12