Hot Weather Help: Avoiding Dog Paw Burns
What are paw pads, anyway?Paw pads are the soft spots on the bottom of your pet’s feet. These pads provide extra cushioning to help protect bones and joints from shock, provide insulation against extreme weather, aid walking on rough or textured ground and help protect tissue deep within the paw.
How can your dog's paw pads burn?Pavement, metal, and asphalt surfaces can get extremely hot, especially during the summer. When walking or standing on hot surfaces, as little as five minutes can be enough time for your furry friend’s feet to feel the burn. Also, paws are extra sensitive after extended periods of time in the water. If you’ve spent the day on the lake or by the river, your pet’s paw pads will be softened and will need extra attention to prevent burning.
What are the signs of burned paw pads?
- Limping or prancing on hot pavement
- Refusing to walk
- Darker color of pads
- Missing patches of pads
- Blistering and redness
- Excessive licking or chewing of paws
How do I treat burned paw pads?Minor cases can sometimes be treated at home. Keep the burned area clean, cool and protected. Pick up ointments like Snout Soother, Bag Balm and Corona Multi-Purpose Ointment to treat burned paws. These have antiseptic qualities and will keep a moisturizing, protective layer over your pet's paws. If your pet's paw pads show blisters or open wounds, head to your vet. Only the vet will be able to determine if there is further, unseen damage and can prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection of sores.
Can I prevent my pet’s paws from burning?
Absolutely! It’s much easier with cats, as they tend to avoid surfaces that can be uncomfortable for their feet. Most dogs, on the other hand, would follow you to the ends of the earth if you asked them to. Be mindful of hot surfaces like sidewalks, metal boat docks or sand. If your pet does have to spend time on hot surfaces, limit her time spent there and allow her to rest in the grass or on clean towels. While you might think that carrying your fur-child across the parking lot, pushing them in a pet stroller or buying pet shoes sounds silly, these are also great ways to protect those paws. Check out the RC Sport Pawks.
When in doubt, stand barefoot on the concrete just outside your front door for 30 seconds. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pets.
What creative ways do you have that protect your pup’s paws? Are there any homemade, natural remedies that work for your felines and canines? Share with us in the comments below!
Sources: Vet Medicine, Pawsitively Pets, ASPCA and PetMD