Precious Paws: Summer Paw Safety Tips For Your Pet

Paw Safety Matters

Many pet owners can’t wait to go for walks to the park, to the beach, and many other outdoor locales with their four-legged friends when the beautiful summer weather hits. Certainly our pets love it as much, if not more, than we do.

While it’s understandably tempting to take our pets along on whatever summer adventures we conjure up, it’s important to keep their safety and comfort in mind. The summer sun can increase your pet’s chances of suffering a heat-related injury, including injuries to the paw pads from hot surfaces.

Practicing good summer paw safety can reduce your pet’s chance of injury and ensure a happy and active summer for the both of you.

Summer Paw Safety 101

Asphalt, pavement, sand or dirt, metal, wood, and even car or truck surfaces can become extremely hot during the summer months, and can actually injure our pet’s paw pads. Some surfaces can even absorb the heat and remain hot long after the sun has gone down. Protect your best bud this summer with our summer paw safety tips:

  • Walk your dog in the early morning or late evening hours, when temperatures are at their coolest.
  • Perform a pavement check: If you can’t comfortably rest your bare feet or the palm of your hand on the ground for 10 seconds, your pet could be at risk for burns. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet.
  • Walk your dog on grassy surfaces and shaded areas whenever possible during the heat of the day.
  • Minor injuries to the paw pads such as cuts, cracks, and peeling can make them more susceptible to burns. Consider moisturizing your pet’s paws daily with a commercial paw cream to keep them healthy.
  • For dogs that are willing to wear them, rubber-soled dog shoes or disposable dog booties provide good protection from the heat. You could also try dog socks or even an old pair of people socks for a temporary solution.

Treating Paw Pad Injuries

Check your pet’s paws often for any signs of injury.  If you see a problem such as a red or pink color change in the paws, blisters, missing pieces of the pads, chewing or licking at the paws, limping, or not wanting to walk, give us a call.

Because burns can lead to negative health complications for your pet, treatment may include:

  • Bandaging of the feet
  • Pain medication
  • Antibiotics in case of infection

Your friends at Wellesley-Natick Veterinary Hospital want you and your pet to enjoy the warm weather safely. Please contact us with any questions or concerns regarding summer pet safety.