Ever walk across a patio or down your driveway in bare feet--and then start sprinting because your feet are burning? Yeah, we've all been there! Walking across a hot deck isn't very comfortable for human feet.
However, every day dogs walk around "barefoot," which can indeed cause some damage to their paws--especially if the pavement is scorching hot. It's not like dogs they can just slip on Flip-Flops and be on their merry way down the sidewalk! (Although, that would be pretty adorable.)
Here are some practical ways to keep Fido's paws safe from heat damage:
Stick to mornings and evenings
Dwight Alleyne, DVM and Veterinarian Expert at JustAnswer, says to pay close attention to the time of day you're walking the dog. "It's best to walk dogs early in the morning or later in the evening before the concrete is too hot."
Another option, says Dr. Alleyne, is to walk mainly on the grassy or shady areas. (So, as much as your dog may love the concrete dog park, it's probably best you avoid it at 2pm when it may be scorching hot aside--and stick to soft ground.)
Invest in paw stickers
"There are also peel and stick pads that can be used on paws if your pet will tolerate them," says Dr. Alleyne. "Most are reusable." There are many types available on Amazon. According to reviews, some pet owners love them, some don't, and it seems like they wok best on little dogs. One customer said: "Easy to use. Just peel of back and apply to paw pads then wrap around foot. I cut off the excess so it wouldn’t pull on her hair or get snagged. She walked funny for a few days but then got used to them and no longer gets her feet burned on the pavement while walking."
Bonus? These pads can also help prevent slipping on a wooden floor.
Opt for a pet stroller
I can't tell you how many times I peeked into a baby carriage thinking I would see a baby--only for it to be a doggie inside! If you think about it, wheeling your fur baby around in a stroller is a great way to keep their paws safe, especially when the heat is on. Petco has a nice variety of doggie strollers, carrier backpacks, totes (even ones that are TSA-approved) and even bike attachment trailers for Fido.
Slip on booties/shoes
They sell a variety of pet shoes, which are not only stylin’, but logical. If humans wear shoes, why can’t pets? PetSmart has a bunch of pet booties available online that work well in both hot and cold weather. Aim for ones with a breathable fabric and non-slip sole.
How to check your pups paws
According to Dr. Alleyne, if you are checking your dog's paws for heat damage, carefully look at the pads and in-between the toes. "Look for any cracking with the paw pads, any redness, or blisters. If your pet seems sensitive and is not wanting to bear weight on a foot, that could be a signs of heat damage."
Adds Dr. Alleyne: "You can safely clean pet paws with antiseptic wipes made for pets. You can also use a medicated mousse to spray between the toes and allow to dry."
Additionally, if your pet's paws are damaged, or to give your pet a little foot massage they'll love, check out companies such as Natural Dog Company and Warren London that make soothing balms and creams for pet paws.
As always, discuss all concerns with your vet. Stay cool!