Posted Jun 7, 2018 in Dog Care
Summer is a great time to get outdoors and enjoy nature with your dog. From going on hikes to swimming to exploring your neighborhood, there is plenty to do when the sun is shinning. While it is fun to do all these activities with your dog, sometimes in the summer it can get pretty hot. With peak temperatures and sometimes unbearable humidity, there are some dangers that can present themselves for you and your dog. One of the main dangers is hurting their paws on hot services. When temperatures are in the 90s and above, pavement and asphalt can get scorching and hurt your dog’s paws. Here are some tips to protecting their paws and having a safe summer!
While we can usually handle the heat since we have our shoes on, sometimes our dogs can’t. A good way to tell if it’s too hot for your dog to walk on is by doing a small test. Place the back of your hand or your bare foot on the sidewalk. If you can’t leave it there for 10 seconds, then your dog probably shouldn’t be walking on it. If your hand hurts after such a little amount of time, your pup’s paws will hurt too.
One way to avoid the heat of the hot pavement is to change up your walking times. In the middle of the day and afternoon, temperatures are at their hottest, which means so are sidewalks. Earlier in the morning before the sun has heated up the pavement is a great time to walk your dog. You can try walking in the evening too, which will also be cooler than the daytime. If you must go during the day time, try to walk on the grass, which will be substantially cooler than the pavement. Shady parks or areas are also good for walking.
Another way to keep your dog’s paws protected is to moisturize them. While we want our dog’s paws to be tough and strong to outside forces, you also don’t want them to be dry. When they’re dry, they can crack, peel, and cut, which can be very painful on hot pavement. During the summer months, try to moisturize the bottoms of their paws daily. Find a balm that is natural and organic, since they may lick it occasionally. You can also use a paw wax to also protect their paws from hot or rough surfaces, but also outside debris, such as chemicals and salts. These balms create a barrier, keeping your pup’s paws safe and healthy.
If you live in a particularly hot area and need a more intense option, shoes or boots might be a good investment. Getting dog shoes can protect them from the heat, but also glass, chemicals, etc. You need to make sure the shoes fit properly and also are a quality material in order for them to be safe. While not all dogs can get used to wearing shoes and may not like it, if your dog takes well to it, shoes are a great solution. These shoes shouldn’t be kept on for too long since this can cause them to overheat. If your dog is super outdoorsy and loves hikes, you may want to get all-terrain doggie boots, which are even more durable.
Checking your dog’s paws daily is also key to keeping them protected and safe. After a long walk or playing outside with your pup, look between their paw pads for any debris, such as stones, glass, etc. Create a routine for taking care of their paws. Wipe their paws off with a damp cloth, check their paws, and then apply the moisturizer mentioned earlier. If you notice any majors cuts or incidents, if you don’t think you can take care of it, head into your vet.
Hot pavement can be dangerous for our pups. But if we take these precautions, it is easy to keep them safe. Good luck!
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