Summer is here, and it's going to be a hot one. And while we all know that we shouldn't leave pets alone in cars this summer, another thing that pet owners need to be careful about is whether the pavement they are walking on is too hot for their dog's paw.
Medical Lake Veterinary Hospital, a veterinarian in Medical Lake, Washington, recently took to Facebook to share a warning after they treated a dog with severe burns to the pads of his feet. Veterinary Hospital Practice Manager, Jeannette Dutton, explainedon Facebook:
"Olaf walked over a mile on the Fish Trap Trail before his owner realized his pads were burned, and even then he wasn't whining or limping! He is one tough cookie (and exceptionally sweet cookie)."
Dutton went on to give dog owners advice:
"A good rule of thumb is if the pavement is too hot for your hand it's too hot for your dogs' pads."
She also told KEPR that Olaf's injuries were so severe that it exposed raw muscle.
In 2017, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) offered further advice for dog owners, and explained just how hot pavements can get.
"On a hot day, pavement can heat up to between 130 and 180 degrees — hot enough for dogs to incur severe burns," the group wrote. "Limping or refusing to walk could mean that your dog’s paw pads have been burned."
PETA gave the following four tips.
- Check the asphalt: as mentioned above, if the pavement is too hot for your hand, it's also too hot for your dog's paws. Temperatures in the 80s can cause asphalt to get as hot as 140 degrees.
- Find somewhere else to walk: "Dog parks, grassy meadows, wooded paths, wet beaches — these are all easier on dogs’ paws than burning-hot asphalt. Probably more enjoyable, too," PETA said.
- Get your dog some footwear: PETA recommends getting your dog a pair of paw-protecting dog boots found at most pet stores.
- Stay indoors: On the hottest days of the years, it's probably just best to skip the daily walk.
Commenters were shocked by how quickly Olaf's paws burned.
"Poor pup," one user wrote. "I’m constantly reaching down and touching the pavement before our walks. Just ordered some dog boots for this summer."
Another added: "I'm in Houston and am VERY careful about walking my boys in the heat. We all need to be mindful of the risks of walking our pups on hot pavement... it's easy to forget."