Avoid walking canine pals on hot surfaces

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Pavement and asphalt can get extremely hot in the summer. Canyon Lakers usually wear some sort of footwear to protect their feet from hot walking surfaces. Parents make sure their children’s feet are protected. But what about pets, especially dogs?

Dogs’ paw pads, although tough, are very susceptible to burning. According to Pawsitively Pets, asphalt can reach 125 degrees during a sunny, 75-degree day. If the temperature outside is 85 degrees, asphalt in the sun can reach over 140 degrees. According to research, a quick approximate calculation is summertime asphalt temperatures are about 50 degrees higher (in direct sun) than the air temperature.

Unlike obvious wounds such as lacerations, infections or foreign bodies, burned pads may not be apparent to the eye, at least initially. Signs of burned pads include limping or refusing to walk, licking or chewing at the feet, pads that have become darker in color, missing part of a pad and blisters or redness.

To keep pets paws from getting burned, pet owners must be mindful of hot surfaces, including asphalt, concrete, brick, stone, sand, metal, and even some wood surfaces such as a boat dock. Always walk dogs on the cool side of the street, in shade or on grass.

A good tip is to lay down a wet towel for dogs to stand on when grassy areas are not available; for example, while loading up the car.

An issue that may affect Canyon Lake pets is water. Time spent by dogs playing in the water can softened paw pads, making them more susceptible to burning than usual.

The most obvious way to avoid burnt paw pads is by avoiding hot surfaces altogether. Walk where it’s grassy or shaded, and walk in the early morning or evening.

Dog boots are a reusable, and even waterproof way to protect dog paw pads from getting burnt. They can be purchased at local pet shops or online at sites such as Amazon.

If the pet is small enough, a dog stroller could come in handy for extended outdoor pet friendly events with hot ground surfaces.

Sometimes accidents happen. A pet dog may get loose and run on hot asphalt, or an owner may not realize how hot the ground really is. These accidents can happen to even the most diligent pet parents.

According to CaringVets.com, if the pads are blistered, raw or have open wounds, the pet should be brought to the vet. If the pads are just sore or mildly burned, clean the paws off with a mild antibacterial soap, rinse with water and carefully dry. Use a spray like Bactine on the paws to help prevent infections and to help numb any tenderness in the pads. A self-adhering sports wrap can be used to cover the sore paw pads and prevent licking. A pair of small (or baby) socks can be used to cover the dog’s paws.

One way to tell if the ground is too hot: Put the back of your hand on the pavement. If it cannot be held there for five seconds, it’s too hot to walk on. Keep in consideration that certain dog’s pads, especially puppies, are even more tender.

Bottom line: If the pavement is so hot a person wouldn’t want to walk barefoot on it, a dog wouldn’t want to either!

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Donna Kupke