Protect Your Dog's Paws In The Summer
1. Walk Your Dog When It's Cooler outside
It sounds obvious, but it's worth mentioning. Early in the morning and later in the evening are safer times to take your dog out for those longer walks. The sun isn't up yet, or is already down - and things are starting to cool off. This is especially important during heat waves. During the day you can let your dog out on grassy surfaces since grass doesn't retain heat nearly as much as pavement does.
2. Condition/Strengthen Your Dog's PawsWhen it's cooler outside, make sure to take your dogs on regular walks on asphalt/pavement. This will help harden your dogs paws and make them stronger for warmer days (and colder ones in the winter). It's similar to humans who walk barefoot all the time - have you ever heard those stories of people who ran a marathon barefoot?!
3. Stay On The Grass When It's Hot
We mentioned this earlier, but on really hot days sometimes the grass is really your best bet. We know, we know, going for those long walks is what you (or your dog - or both) want but sometimes when it's too hot it's better to play it safe. Or maybe find a hiking trail with some shade.
4. Moisturize Your Dog's Paws
Now this sounds like it goes against our tip about toughening up your pups paws, but moisturization and toughness go hand in hand. You don't want your dogs pads to get too dry or they will start peeling, crack, and get cuts. This can make them more sensitive to temperature on the sidewalk/road and make it easier for them to get injured. We recommend a Pet's Tech Approved product called Burt's Bees Paw & Nose Lotion. It's 100% natural and fixed your pups pads up in no time. You can check it out here:
5. Use Paw Wax
Paw wax is your best friend during hot and cold months. Use it to protect your dogs pads when it's too hot. The wax acts as a protective barrier and stays on for a couple weeks at a time so you don't have to worry about applying it every time you're about to go out. We recomment this Pet's Tech Approved product called Musher's Secret Paw Wax. Many dog owners apply this for all different types of situations or surfaces such as ice, snow, heat, sand, rocks, and gravel. Check it out here:
6. Try Dog Shoes
Dog shoes are another good way to protect your pups pads from hot or cold weather. There are plenty of options available, and all do about the same job. You need to be careful not to leave the dog boots on for too long though, as dogs sweat through their tongues and their paws. A few hours should be fine - but once you're back home be sure to take them off and let those puppies (heh) breathe!
7. Check And Clean Your Dog's Paws Frequently
Always check your dogs paws every 15 - 30 minutes when walking. A bit more frequently at the beginning before you get too far. Take a look at this graphic below to easily understand what temperatures are too hot to walk your dog.
- When it's 77 degrees outside, the asphalt can be 125 degrees!
- When it's 86 degrees outside, the asphalt can be 135 degrees!
- When it's 87 degrees outside, the asphalt can be 143 degrees!
At 125 degrees, skin destruction can happen in 60 seconds! That means when it's 77 degrees outside you should absolutely be paying attention to the temperature of the walking surface and be sure to check your dogs comfort level and paws.