Now that the summer season is in full swing, walking with your dog requires a few extra precautions to keep them safe and healthy. Practically every pet parent knows the rule about not leaving your dog in the a hot vehicle, but not as many know the damage that hot asphalt, pavement or even sand, can wreak on a dog’s paws.
The air temperature doesn’t have to be excessively hot to burn a dog’s skin. The air temperature only has to be 77 F for the asphalt to be 125 F, and at 125 degrees, skin destruction can occur in just 60 seconds!
Hot pavement can cause painful blisters, welts or severe burns on a dog’s feet and lead to health complications like infections.
That’s where this five-second rule comes in. Place the back of your hand on the pavement. If you cannot hold it for five seconds, it’s too hot to walk your dog on the surface. Try walking the dog somewhere else and on a cooler surface like grass.
There are other ways to protect your dog’s paws from hot surfaces too such as using booties, paw wax and silicone scar pads. These should be considered, especially if your dog’s feet are sensitive to the elements. Also keep in mind that a dog’s paw pads soften after they’ve been in the water, which can cause their feet to burn faster.
If you see your dog limping or refusing to walk, or licking or chewing at their feet, their paws are probably hurting. Also, if you look at their paws and you notice the pads are darker in color, there are blisters or redness, or they are missing part of their pad, they’ve definitely burned their paws.
Remember to have a safe summer outside with your dog and use the 5-second rule to help them out!