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A dog’s paws are tough, right? I mean, they walk around shoe-less over grass, rocks, dirt, sand, and sidewalks all the time without issue…
While paws are pretty durable, what many pet parents don’t realize is that during the summer months, hot pavement, asphalt, and dark or metal surfaces can very quickly become scorching hot – too hot for paws.
Unfortunately, because we’re almost always wearing shoes when walking our pups, we don’t feel the heat beneath our feet.
Every summer, veterinarians treat dogs with serious, painful burns to their paw pads after a well-meaning parent took their dog for a walk without checking the temperature of the surface below.
Earlier this month, a Washington veterinary hospital shared now-viral photos of a pup who’d been out for his usual walk for an hour before his owner realized his paws were burnt:
So, one really quick, easy way to tell if the ground is too hot for your pup’s paws is to remember the “3-Second Rule.”
Before walking your dog, place the back of your hand on the ground and hold it there for 3-seconds. If the heat is unbearable, find another place to walk, outfit your pup with a pair of booties, or reschedule your walk for another time when the ground isn’t so hot.
Remember, while outside temperatures may be mild, asphalt and pavement, artificial turf, sidewalks, and darker colored groundcover, especially in areas without shade, may be dangerously hot.
Why the back of your hand and not the palm?
The back of your hand is more sensitive to heat and cold than the palm.
Michelle A. Riverasays:
Also, dogs in the beds of hot pick up trucks. Hot floors.
Great informational post – people often forget that dogs paws need protection sometimes! If you wouldn’t want to walk on it, your dog might not be able to either. Boots are a good idea. I’ve also heard that Musher’s Secret (a protective cream applied to pet paws) also works well.