Warmer weather and longer summer days bring pet parents and pups outdoors. While we remember to bring water along for Fido and we know not to leave Spot in the car, we often don’t think about another danger–hot concrete. Sizzling. Scorching. DOG PAW BURN.
There is a simple test for knowing if it is safe for Fido to go for walk. Hold your hand on the pavement for 5 seconds. If it too hot to hold your hand on the pavement for 5 seconds, it is too for your pup’s feet.
You did the test, and it is, indeed, too hot to walk your pup on the pavement. What to do to avoid dog paw burn?
1. If possible, wait for the temperature to drop.
Try to walk your dog early in the morning or late at night, when the pavement is cooler. Of course, here in Texas, the temperature may never drop enough!
2. Walk your pup on the grass.
Minimize contact with asphalt, concrete, stones, sand and hot surfaces.
3. Toughen up your pup’s paws.
Before the hot summer months arrive, walk your pup on concrete. It will help to toughen up paws. This will help to prevent any potential dog paw burns that could come later on.
If these solutions to preventing dog paw burn are not possible, then here are some additional possibilities:
1. Paw Wax
Paw Wax smeared into your pup’s paws will protect those paws from harmful surfaces. Consider Musher’s Paw Wax , which is designed to protect your pup’s paws from harmful surfaces, including sizzling concrete.
2. Dog Shoes
Ultra Paws Rugged Dog Boot have rubber soles that offer the best protection. Be prepared for an adjustment period…not all dogs get used to walking in dog shoes.
3. Disposable Dog Booties
Designed to go on easily and fit securely, PAWZ is a disposable and reusable dog boot. However, covering your pup’s feet is controversial because dogs breathe through their feet. If you put booties on them, you shut down more than half of their ability to cool themselves.
Designed for pups, Pet Socks are anti slip and will protect your pup’s paws from Mother Nature.
5. Peel and Stick Pads
You know the ones….the type you stick on your kitchen chairs so they don’t scratch your floor. Peel and stick pads are an easy way to protect your pup’s paws from dog paw burn from sizzling concrete or asphalt. Just buy, cut and stick.
You didn’t do the 5 second test, went for a walk, and now you wonder if your pup is suffering from paw burn. Consider these signs:
• limping or refusing to walk
• licking or chewing at the feet
• pads darker in color
• missing part of pad
• blisters or redness
• whining and or heavy panting may be a sign of pain
What to do?
1. Call your vet.
Burnt paws can lead to an infection.
2. Flush the paw with cool water.
3. If you cannot get to the vet immediately:
•Wash the dog’s injured paw pad using antibacterial soap and rinse thoroughly.
•Pat the injured foot with a clean towel to dry the area.
•Pour an antiseptic like beta dine (preferred) or hydrogen peroxide over the burned, blistered or cut paw pad and allow the liquid to air dry. (Note: Hydrogen peroxide can damage tissue and delay healing. After the initial cleaning, hydrogen peroxide must be used at half-strength, with 50% water added. This is why beta dine is preferred.) Do not use alcohol, it burns!
•Apply antibiotic ointment. Wrap the paw and ankle with rolled gauze. Roll the gauze in a “figure 8” pattern, looping around the paw and ankle.
•Cover the bandage with a sock, placing a bit of tape around the dog’s leg at the sock’s ankle to hold the sock in place. The sock will prevent soiling of the foot bandage
4. You MUST follow up with seeing the vet. Again, burnt paw pads can lead to an infection.
Consider this: at 77 air temperature degrees, asphalt is 125 degrees. Skin destruction occurs in 5 minutes. An egg can fry in one minute at 131 degrees. Take the 5 second test and protect your pup from dog paw burn.