There’s nothing better than enjoying some beautiful summer weather with your furry best friend. You can make some core memories of playing fetch at the park, swimming in your favorite watering hole, or just exploring your favorite pet-friendly local spots. It’s important to remember, however, that our pets are vulnerable to hot weather, too. Protecting dog paws in the summer heat is an important consideration as you and your furry friend enjoy some seasonal fun.

Be Aware of the Heat

Sidewalks, streets, and even sand are much hotter than the outside air. Even on a day that feels pleasant temperature-wise, it could be dangerous for your pet’s paws. Before you expose your pet to the heat, try to figure out if it’s too hot for them. You can do this by walking outside and placing your hand on the concrete or pavement. If you can leave it there comfortably for 5-7 seconds, your pet’s paws should be just fine. However, if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for them. 

Try to stick to early morning or evening ventures outside on the hottest days. This usually means any time before 8 in the morning or after 7 at night but can vary depending on when the sun rises or sets. Pay attention to weather forecasts and stay in on especially hot and humid days.

Look for Alternative Surfaces

Even if the sidewalk or concrete feels good to the touch, finding alternative surfaces can help your pet and his or her paws feel even more comfortable. Look for surfaces like:

  • Dirt paths
  • Grass
  • Shaded routes

You don’t have to stick to these surfaces the whole time. Even if you can alternate between the concrete and a cooler alternative surface, this will help keep your pet’s paws from getting too warm. It can provide a way to explore a new area, too!

Protect Those Paws

If you can’t really avoid being outside during hot times, you can invest in a pair of booties to protect your pet’s paws. There are plenty of options that provide relief from the heat. Some even have reflectors to make nighttime (or early morning) walks safer. It is important to ensure they securely fit your pet’s paw before walking outside with them. You might also need a little training to get your pet used to wearing them. If your pet refuses to wear booties, there is also paw wax that can create a barrier from the heat.

Check the Paws

Even with proper precautions, dog paws can still get burned or injured during your summer adventures. You should do a quick check of your pet’s paws when you get home to ensure there are no issues. These might include:

  • Burns
  • Cuts
  • Scratches
  • Bruises
  • Debris
  • Thorns

We hope these tips can help you in protecting dog paws in the summer heat. 

At Oakland Veterinary Referral Services, we believe in combining pet ownership resources with high-quality specialty and emergency veterinary care. Whether you are trying to get some summer safety tips or need to see a veterinary specialist, we are here for you. Please call (248) 334-6877 to learn more about our services.