A dog’s feet and paw pads are resilient and can walk on all kinds of surfaces year round. However, pet owners should beware of extremely hot surfaces, as these can damage your dog’s foot pads. What are some ways in which you can protect your dog’s paw pads from hot surfaces?
Adjust Walking Times
If you are in the habit of walking Fido during the hottest part of the day, you should consider adjusting the times you take your dog for a walk. Walking dogs during the hottest part of the day can be detrimental to your dog’s health, as the sun beats down onto the pavement and sand, increasing the surface temperature and putting your dog at risk of paw pad burns.
Rather, switch times and walk your dog in the early morning or in the evening when the temperatures have cooled down to where you can take your dog for a walk without having to worry about injuring your dog’s paw pads.
Keep Your Dog on the Grass
A good way to protect a dog’s paw pads from burning is to walk them on the grass, rather than on concrete pavement, if you will be walking them during a particularly hot day. The reason being, grass stays cooler than concrete, which will reduce the risk of paw pad injuries.
Ways to Toughen a Dog’s Paw Pads
A newborn puppy will have velvety soft paw pads, but it is important to take steps to toughen the dog’s paw pads as the dog gets older. An easy way to toughen your dog’s paw pads is to take frequent walks on the pavement during the cool part of the day.
Tara DeMarco, the author of Hot in the City? Protect your Pet’s Feet! offers practical suggestions. DeMarco recommends walking your dog on the concrete to encourage the formation of calluses. The calluses will make the skin surrounding the paw pad thicker, and better able to withstand painful injuries such as burns and cuts.
Paw pad injuries can be hard to detect, but there is no need to subject your dog to paw pad injuries caused by walking on extremely hot surfaces or stepping on shattered glass. Adjust walking times, keep your dog on the grass and take frequent walks during cool times of the day to encourage the formation of calluses, which will help protect your dog from paw pad injuries.
Hot in the City? Protect your Pet’s Feet! By Tara DeMarco