Hot Weather Help: Paw Pad Burns

Hot Weather Help: Paw Pad Burns

You know the feeling: frantically tip-toeing from your lounge chair to the edge of the pool so the bottom of your feet doesn’t burn on the hot pavement. But, did you know our pets also have tender toes? Avoid dog paw burns by knowing these facts and solutions:

What are paw pads?

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
Remember, even if you can't see visible burns, your pet could still be in pain. Watch for these signs, and be proactive in preventing burns before they get worse.

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 Major Darling Paw Salve, Farm Dog Naturals Salvation Balm, or Lubrisyn Wound Gel 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 their time spent there and allow them 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 great ways to protect those paws. If you plan on hiking or taking walks this Summer, check out this RC Pet Boot Pack.

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.

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