Many dog owners believe that their dog’s feet and paw pads can withstand any kind of surface, including burning hot concrete surfaces, during a walk in the park. However, hot surfaces can seriously injure your pet by burning the bottom of your dog’s paw pads. How can you notice the signs of burned paw pads and what treatment options are available?
Keep Your Dog’s Feet Safe from Injury
Dog owners do not need to be reminded to wear close-toed shoes or sandals when they are walking their dog. It comes automatically to slip on a pair of shoes, and they avoid hot surfaces, broken glass and other dangers on the concrete or lurking in the grass. Unfortunately, our dogs cannot let us know to also keep an eye out for their feet and paw pads, as they will want to follow us wherever we take them.
Even though a dog’s pads toughen up over time as dogs can walk on different types of surfaces, burned paw pads can be extremely painful for dogs. Once a dog’s paw pads are burned, it is not always apparent that they have sustained an injury.
Tell-tale Signs of Burned Foot Pads
If dogs could speak we would be able to detect injuries much more easily. But as that is not possible, responsible dog owners should keep an eye out for tell-tale signs of burned foot pads. Some of the signs include limping or refusing to walk, pads that have turned darker than usual, missing parts of a foot pad and visible blisters or redness. Some dogs even lick or chew their burned foot pad to try to obtain a measure of relief, but this is also a sign of summer allergies and does not necessarily point to burned foot pads.
First Aid Options for Burned Foot Pads
Do not let your dog suffer any longer than necessary once they have sustained a burn to their paw pads. Take your dog to the vet, who will be able to examine the dog for signs of injury. Burned paw pads can become infected, which is why a pain medication or antibiotic may be prescribed. If the vet cannot see your pet right away, take your pet indoors or into a grassy area. Some dogs that are badly injured will find it painful to walk and will need to be carried. Then flush the wounds with cool water or a cool compress and try to prevent your dog from licking his injuries.
Dog owners can also take preventative measures to keep their dog safe from paw pad burns. Take a towel with you in case there is no grass or shaded area for your dog, or invest in doggie boots or socks, which are designed to keep your dog’s paws and foot pads safe.
Dog owners should always consider the health and safety of their dogs each time they take them for a walk. Watch out for paw pad injuries, such as burns, by keeping your dog off hot surfaces. Watch for tell-tale signs of burns and take your dog to the vet if you suspect your dog has sustained paw pad injuries.
Hot in the City? Protect your Pet’s Feet! By Tara DeMarco