Protecting Your Pet's Paws from Summer Pavement Burns

Summer is finally here, and with it comes the chance for more outdoor adventures with our furry friends! Whether it's a trip to the mall, a scenic hike, or a fun day at the park, there's nothing better than getting out and soaking up some vitamin D with our pets by our side. But with the warm weather comes some important considerations to keep our four-legged friends healthy. As pet parents, it's really important to be aware of potential dangers that might not be obvious to us. We'll go over everything you need to know to keep your pets safe and happy all summer long. 

Understanding the Danger of Hot Pavement 

It's easy to assume that if the weather is a comfortable temperature for us, it's safe for our pets. However, pavement can absorb and retain heat, creating a much hotter surface than the air temperature suggests. For example, on a seemingly nice day at 77°F, asphalt and tarmac can reach 125°F. To put this into perspective, an egg can fry in just five minutes at 131°F. Imagine trying to stand barefoot on a hot stove! That's what it can feel like for your pet on hot pavement. This means that even a short walk on a seemingly cool day can be dangerous for your pet's paws. 

Recognizing Signs of Pavement Burns in Your Pet 

If your pet has been walking on hot pavement, be on the lookout for these signs of discomfort: 

  • Limping or reluctance to walk: Your dog may show discomfort when trying to walk or stand. 
  • Redness, swelling, or blisters: These are obvious signs of burns and require immediate attention. See your vet right away and treat any injuries to prevent prolonged discomfort or possible infection. 
  • Excessive licking or chewing: Your pet may try to soothe the affected areas by licking or chewing. 

Protecting Your Pet's Paws from Summer Pavement 

Here are some simple steps to keep your pet's paws safe in the heat: 

1. Strategically Plan Your Outings

Avoid walking during the hottest part of the day, which is usually between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The coolest times of day are early morning and late evening when the sun isn't at its peak.  

2. The "5-Second Test"

Before walking your pet, hold your hand on the pavement for five seconds. If it's too hot for you, it's definitely too hot for your furry friend. 

3. Opt for Grassy Areas

Whenever possible, stick to grassy areas, shaded walkways, or parks. Look for natural surfaces that retain less heat. 

4. Paw Protection Products

Paw Balm: These products create a barrier between your pet's paws and the hot surface, providing an extra layer of protection. Skin & Paw Releaf Topical for Dogs & Cats supports healthy skin and helps reduce external irritation. It contains plant-based ingredients and is infused with Full Spectrum Hemp Extract to effectively soothe any itchiness, irritations, or allergies your pet might have. 

Dog Boots: While some dogs may resist wearing boots, they provide excellent protection, especially for long walks or in extreme heat. Choosing the right boots for your dog is important. Boots that are too tight can restrict circulation and be uncomfortable, while boots that are too loose can easily fall off. Pro Tip: Measure your dog's paws and look for boots with adjustable straps or closures. 

5. Cooling Down

If your pet has been walking on hot pavement, provide them with a shaded place to rest and access fresh water. You can also cool them down by applying ice packs and soaking their paws in a bowl of cold water. 

6. Be Aware of Pavement Conditions

Dark asphalt absorbs more heat than lighter surfaces like concrete. Be extra cautious on sunny days and remember that heat can build up even on cloudy days. 

7. Pay Attention to Your Pet

Watch for signs of discomfort and be prepared to shorten your walk or find alternative routes if necessary. 

Summer is all about enjoying those special moments with your pet. By being mindful of the potential dangers, you can make sure you have a safe and fun-filled season together. Remember, a little planning goes a long way!