Can my dog burn his paws in summer?

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dog pad in the sun

With the arrival of summer and why not say it, the high temperatures that come sooner due to climate change, our dogs suffer the danger of burning their paws from contact with cement or asphalt in the ground.

We are protected by our slippers or sandals, but the dogs always go barefoot and a floor that has been exposed to the sun all day long under high temperatures, burns and a lot.

It is essential to prevent our dog from burning the pads on its paws, as it will cause a lot of pain and will end up limping, without being able to walk properly. In addition, your burns will take time to recover, and you can easily become infected.

dog pad in the sun

How to prevent my dog from burning the pads in the sun

The first thing we must use is our common sense, dogs are covered in a thick and abundant coat of hair plus more than a centimeter of body fat that protects them from the cold.

But in summer, both the hair and the fat work against it, making your body temperature skyrocket very easily. We must avoid walking with our dogs when there is direct sun and / or the temperature is over thirty degrees.

The asphalt or cement of the sidewalks and paths heats up very easily, reaching temperatures capable of burning the pads of the paws of our dogs in just a few minutes.

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In addition to the danger to which we will expose our dog, since an excess of temperature can produce a heatstroke, often deadly. Dogs do not love heat, they do not need to go to the beach when the temperature is very high, much less want to play sports when the sun is too hot.

To prevent our dog from suffering the consequences of excess heat in spring and summer, to prevent it from suffering from heat stroke or hurting its paws, we must follow these simple tips:

  • Always keep your dog hydrated, with fresh and clean water at his disposal (in summer it is necessary to change the water very frequently so that it is always fresh, and not hot or at room temperature).
  • Avoid going for a walk in the hottest hours of the day, usually between 12pm and 7pm. It is much better to take a good walk first thing in the morning when the sun is not yet burning. Or in the late afternoon, when it cools.
  • Take the hand test, put the palm of your hand close to the ground where it is giving and the direct sun has hit. If you endure more than 5 or 10 seconds without burning yourself, your dog will not burn. If your palm burns, don’t take your dog outside.
  • Hydrate their pads, there are special moisturizers (for sale in veterinary clinics) to hydrate your dog’s pads and make them more resistant to burns.

dog paw reddened by the sun

How to tell if my dog has burned its paws or pads

If we appreciate that our dog is complaining when walking, limping or licking the pads, it is most likely that it has suffered a burn due to heat. We can very carefully lift its little leg and observe its pad.

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If it is red or red, worn or with a scraped appearance (like raw meat), it is because it has suffered burns that need to be taken care of. This type of burns needs care since they can easily become infected.

Some dogs have black and flesh-colored pads, but none have them naturally reddened. If your dog shows any of these symptoms, do not hesitate, he has suffered burns from walking with the ground too hot.

avoid burns on dog paw

When not to go for a walk with the dog to avoid burns

In summer we must avoid the central hours of the day since it is when it is hottest and when the ground is hottest. The heat of the ground can burn our dog’s paws easily, so we must avoid going for a walk at those hours.

If the sun is hitting hard, our dog will be more comfortable indoors in the shade, sheltered from the intense heat. Do not force your dog to go for a walk, much less to run, in the hot hours.

When the temperature is over thirty degrees our dog will be in danger, since his body temperature is higher than ours and he has much more difficulty regulating it. Do not put your dog in danger by the simple whim of going for a walk.

Don’t take it to the beach either, we can cool off by bathing and putting ourselves in a shade, with something cool to drink. They will be very hot and will burn their feet with the sand, causing burns to their pads.

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curl dog pad

What do I do if my dog burns its paw pads?

The main thing is to get home or somewhere where the ground doesn’t burn. If it is already annoying and harmful for our dog to walk on a burning floor, imagine how it must hurt if it also has its pads burned (the skin that is reddened and raw).

We must wash your pads with fresh soapy water to clean them, we can even use water from the fridge that will be much cooler than that from the tap. Once the legs are clean, we must apply to them a fifty percent solution of water and iodine (iodine is sold in pharmacies).

We will apply this solution a few times a day, as many days as necessary until your legs heal. It goes without saying that in the meantime, it is totally forbidden to go for a walk when the ground is hot, limiting your walks first thing in the morning and / or at night.

If the burns do not heal and / or we see infection, it will be completely necessary to go to a vet to start a specific treatment with antibiotics. In many cases the burns are so strong that veterinary treatment is necessary.

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