Summer’s here and with it comes the extreme heat that can be intolerable at times. If there’s something we should never forget while having fun under the sun, it’s to take care of our bodies from the inside out. Always stay hydrated, put on sunscreen and make sure to bring a hat. That way, we can avoid sunburn and heatstroke. If you’re a fur-parent, these precautions during summer also apply to your pet dog. Unfortunately, we end up forgetting the dangers that we expose our pets to whenever we are too busy or in a hurry.
According to PETA, countless dogs suffer, or worse die, in the summer. Cases mostly occur when their owners leave them inside a parked car to run a quick errand. Cars are deathtraps for dogs and it can be bad for them even for a minute. It’s also dangerous for dogs to go for walks mid-day under the summer heat as dogs can’t sweat in the same way as humans do and their paws are more sensitive than human feet. Their paws can handle walking on grass or soil, but concrete and asphalt absorb more heat, and are therefore hotter, especially during the day.
How to prevent your dog from getting paw burns
So, how do you know if the road is too hot for your dog to walk on? A quick trick is to put the back of your hand on the pavement, if you can’t stand the heat for more than five seconds, the pavement is definitely to hot for your pup. If you are still unsure, you can stand on the sidewalk barefoot. If you can’t stay there for 5 seconds, then it’s probably too much for your little dog’s paws as well.
If you must take your dog on a walk, have them wear boots and opt to stroll in the early mornings during sunrise, preferably not later than 7AM. You can also go for a walk during sundown, but you should still check the pavement as it can still be hot after absorbing the heat for the entire day.
Dog paws are made to be tough and can withstand various surfaces and friction. However, their paws are susceptible to injury such as damage and burns due to exposure to hot surfaces. Dogs may not notice that their paws are burnt when they are having fun so if you notice your dog behaving differently, check immediately and bring your dog to the vet.
If you notice your dog’s behavior becoming restless, such as constantly licking their paws, limping or blisters appearing, what you can do is to use a cold compress to alleviate any discomfort they are feeling or flush the foot with cold water. Make sure your dog doesn’t touch, scratch or lick on the blisters – a cone would help. Then, take your dog to the vet immediately.
It is our responsibility as fur parents to check on our pet’s needs in every changing season. Summers are fun to go on trips with the whole family but if you are going to bring your dog with you, make sure they are properly hydrated, their fur is groomed specifically for the summer and they are protected from the dangers of heatstroke and pad burns.