Burned Paws – Protect Your Dog’s Paws From Hot Summer Asphalt

Summer is here and with the high temperatures comes hot pavement.  Since most of us wear shoes, we don’t think about how hot the concrete and pavement become during the day.  A few seconds of contact will burn a child’s feet and a dog’s paws.  One of the technicians I work with tried to measure the surface temperature of the asphalt in front of the clinic yesterday.  It was too high for the thermometer to give a number, it simply read ‘high’.  Today in Phoenix we hit 113 degrees so imagine how hot the asphalt is!   

To protect your dog, walk and complete errands early in the morning before the pavement heats up.  If you must take them out during the heat of the day, stay in the shade or carry them.  For dogs too large to carry, purchase a pair of booties to protect their paws.  Booties come in several sizes and styles to accommodate your dog’s needs.  I have a pair of Tuff Paws for my dog.  Although he doesn’t like to wear them, they are great for protecting his feet during short walks.  Dog booties are available at outdoor stores, especially those that stock supplies for hunting dogs.  Try them on your dog before purchasing to make sure the fit is correct.      

Remember that dogs sweat through their pads and noses.  In warm weather, remove the booties as soon as possible to allow this cooling process to occur.  Just as we need to stay hydrated, so do the dogs.  Please have ample water available in these summer months. 

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.