Disclaimer: We are not veterinarians. The following is information based on our own research and questions we’ve asked our own vet. Using these tips ourselves, we have been fortunate to avoid pad burns with our dogs.
Your dog’s paws have foot pads that can usually handle whatever nature throws at them. However many man-made surfaces can burn your dog’s paws, including concrete and asphalt.
Hot surfaces can do some serious damage to your dog’s paws. The long, sunny days of summer might make for great dog walking weather, but the bright sunshine can also overheat sidewalks, streets, and driveways.
Your dog needs to go outside both to go potty and to exercise. Pad burns occur on a dog’s paws after they walk on a hot surface. Often extremely painful for your dog, they can require immediate medical attention.
You should understand how to spot the symptoms, plus tips to avoid the problem in the first place.
Symptoms of pad burns
- Limping or avoiding walking
- Excessive Licking or chewing feet
- Paw pads are darker in color than usual
- Pads are visibly damaged
- Blisters or redness
First aid for burned paws
If you suspect your dog has burned paw pads:
- Bring your dog inside right away. Carry your pet if necessary.
- Flush the foot with cold water or use a cold compress.
- Try not to let your dog lick the injured pad.
Take your dog to the vet as soon as possible because burns can become infected. Your dog might need antibiotics or pain medication depending on the severity of the burn.
How do I protect my pet’s paws from the heat?
- To prevent pad burns, try walking your dog on dirt or grass paths
- Walk in the early hours of the morning before the sun has had a chance to heat the ground too much.
- Avoid black asphalt, as it is very hot and can burn the pads instantly.
- Test the surface before you let your dog walk on it. Place the back of your hand on the surface; if it’s too hot to keep your hand on it for 30 seconds, then it’s too hot for your dog.
- Dog Booties help protect against the hot surface
Paw pads aren’t shoes. Not only can hot surfaces hurt a dog’s paws, but rough ones can too. Rugged terrain may tear up your dog’s feet, such as pavement, trails and sand. In addition to avoiding trouble spots, you can also use Dog Booties.
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