How to keep your dog's paws safe in the summer heat

Don Schwenneker Image
Monday, July 20, 2020
Heat brings danger to humans and pets alike
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Get your dog walks in this morning before the triple-digit heat index kicks in.

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- It going to be another hot day, not just for us, but for our furry friends as well.

You may not realize but a 95 sunny day can mean things are A LOT warmer on the ground.

In a study done by Frostburg State University in Maryland, the authors found that temps can be 50 or higher on an asphalt surface, compared to the air temps around that surface.

Human skin can start to burn around 110. As you go past that point temperature-wise, the burn can happen in shorter time periods. So, if you can't hold your hand on the walking surface for more than 5 seconds, you shouldn't expose your pet's paws to it.

How do you know if your dog has picked up a burn on their paw pad? First, get off the surface immediately. Here are some symptoms to look for:

1. Refusing to walk or limping

2. Discolored pads

3. Excessive licking of feet

4. Visible blisters or extreme redness

5. Missing skin on the pads

So what is next?

First, rinse the pad with cool water for 10-15 minutes. Second, call your vet! They can give you better guidance than I can. And because the paws are exposed to so much stuff, paw burns can require antibiotics.

Finally, if you are insistent on bringing Fido with you on a hot day, look into buying some dog booties or shoes for just such an occasion. They are for sale all over the interwebs. Again, check with your vet on what options might work for you.