Do you like walking your dog? In hot summers, that could be far more dangerous than you thought. Experts warn dog owners after pet’s paw pads burn off during a walk.
A veterinarian in Medical Lake Veterinary Hospital, Washington, recently shared a warning on Facebook after they encountered a dog with burns on the paws of his feet. The injuries were so severe that it exposed the raw muscle.
Jeannette Dutton, Veterinary Hospital Practice Manager, explained the incident on 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).”
Burned paw pads is a common incident that veterinarians see every summer. Many dog owners may not understand that dogs’ paw pads, although they seem more rugged and rough, are quite sensitive, just like human feet.
The paw pads are only designed to withstand significant pressure but not extreme temperatures.
After the recent incident, Dutton advised dog owners on what to do if they encounter hot pavement.
“A good rule of thumb is if the pavement is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your dogs’ pads.”
In 2017, a group called People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) advised pet owners, explaining how pavements can get dangerous during summer.
The PETA said:
“On a hot day, pavement can heat up to between 130 and 180 degrees — hot enough for dogs to incur severe burns. Limping or refusing to walk could mean that your dog’s paw pads have been burned.”
So, keep an eye for signs of discomfort including limping, the dog holding up its feet, panting heavily during walks, as well as the pet chewing or licking feet after a walk.
PETA also gave additional tips to protect dog paws on hot pavements.
1. Invest in a pair of paw-protecting dog booties to help avoid paw burns.
2. Walk your day on cooler surfaces including Dog parks, grassy meadows, wooded paths, and wet beaches instead
3. Follow the seven-second rule and check the surface for heat before leaving the house.
4. Walk your dog early in the morning or late in the evening when surfaces are cooler.
When Dutton posted the photos of the dog’s burned paws, pet lovers showed their sympathy for the dog.
One person wrote:
“Poor pup. I’m constantly reaching down and touching the pavement before our walks. Just ordered some dog boots for this summer.”
Another user 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 the hot pavement… it’s easy to forget.”