When summer comes, pavement gets hot and your dog's foot pads can get damaged when they walk on it. It can be hard to keep off hot pavement in summer sometimes, but there are ways to prevent or reduce the chance of foot damage. Here are ways that you can tell if your dog's feet are burned and what you can do to prevent and treat the problem.
Signs of Hurt or Burned Foot Pads
The main sign that will tell you something is wrong is if your dog is limping and is refusing to go on walks when there's not been a problem before. Burned foot pads will appear as dark, crusty patches and include blisters and peeling skin.
Ways to Protect Against Hot Pavement
There are several ways that any dog owner can reduce the chance that their dog's foot pads are burned. Here are three easy changes you can make.
Walk During Cooler Times
Try to not walk right at the height of heat and sunshine, such as midday. If possible, wait until it's cloudy or walk in the morning and evening. Test the temperature of the pavement with your hand before venturing out. Remember that dogs also cool themselves through their feet, so hot pavement may contribute to heat stroke if you're not careful.
Use Grass or Unpaved Areas
Try to walk so that your dog is mostly utilizing grass, dirt, or other surfaces that don't heat up as quickly as asphalt or concrete.
Cover Your Dog's Feet
There are a variety of booties, shoes and socks on the market specially made to protect your dog's feet from surface hazards. The problem is that many dogs don't like them, so you may need patience and gentle training to get your dog to wear them.
Treatment for Mild Burns
If your dog only has mild burns, you can soak their feet in cold water and use skin creams designed to help heal dog foot pads. Make sure whatever creams and ointments you use are safe for dogs because they will try to lick it off. Do not use aloe vera as it could be potentially toxic to pets if swallowed.
Of course, if your dog has severe damage, such as raw, peeling and bleeding feet, cracks, cuts, or infections, then you must see a veterinarian, such as at Pittsburgh Spay & Vaccination Clinic, for treatment. It also might mean that you dog might need to keep off of his or her feet, so you won't be able to go out on walks for a while. Therefore prevention is a good way to keep your pooch from suffering. If your dog is showing signs of foot pain or burns, then have your veterinarian check him or her out to make sure it's not going to turn into something serious.