In the Florida heat, you must protect your dogs’ paws at all times. As a responsible pet owner, it’s crucial to prioritize your furry friend’s well-being, especially when living in a hot and sunny climate like we have in Florida. One often overlooked aspect of pet care during scorching temperatures is protecting your dog’s paws from the searing heat of asphalt. The pavement can reach alarming temperatures that can cause discomfort, pain, and even severe burns to your dog’s sensitive paw pads. In this blog, we’ll explore effective strategies to safeguard your four-legged companion from the perils of hot asphalt during the sweltering Florida heat.
Recognizing the Danger
Florida’s relentless sunshine can cause asphalt temperatures to skyrocket, posing a significant risk to your dog’s paw pads. Before heading out for a walk, take a moment to touch the pavement with the back of your hand. Leave your hand there for seven seconds. If it feels too hot for your hand, it’s undoubtedly too hot for your dog’s paws. Being proactive and cautious can prevent potential injuries and ensure a safe outdoor experience for your furry friend.
Even when the air temperature does not seem hot, asphalt can be much hotter. Concrete, metal, wood decking, composite decking, sand, artificial turf and other surfaces can get just as hot, if not hotter. Please refer to the image below for an idea of how hot asphalt can get during the summer heat!
Opt for Cooler Walking Times to Protect Your Dogs’ Paws
During the day’s peak heat, it’s best to limit outdoor activities with your dog, especially walks on hot asphalt. Aim for early mornings or late evenings when the temperatures are lower, and the pavement has had a chance to cool down. This simple adjustment can significantly reduce your pup’s risk of burns and discomfort.
Use Protective Paw Gear
Invest in protective paw gear, such as dog booties or paw wax, to shield your dog’s paws from the scorching pavement. Dog booties are a barrier between the paws and the hot surface, providing insulation and protection. Make sure to choose booties that fit comfortably and securely to prevent any discomfort or chafing.
At Leashes to Leads, we recommend Ruffwear Grip Trex, Muttluks Mud Monsters or Dog Mocs. Ensure that you follow the measuring instructions correctly to order the correct size of shoes. Also, measure both the front and back paws, as they are often two sizes.
Most higher-end dog shoes are sold in pairs specifically for this reason. Working with your dog to get them used to wearing shoes would be best. Slowly introduce the booties to them and make this a positive experience.
If you just put them on and let them go, you may find your investment destroyed very quickly. An additional benefit to shoes for your dog is protection against glass, toxins and other debris.
Paw wax is another excellent option. Applying a thin layer of paw wax before heading out forms a protective barrier, reducing direct contact with the hot asphalt. Additionally, the wax can moisturize and soothe your dog’s paw pads, promoting overall paw health.
Stick to Grass and Shade
Whenever possible, opt for grassy areas and shaded paths during walks. Grass remains cooler than asphalt, offering your dog a more comfortable walking surface. Seek out parks, nature trails, or designated dog parks with ample shade to ensure a pleasant and safe outdoor experience.
Regular Paw Care Routine
Maintaining a consistent paw care routine can go a long way in preventing discomfort and injuries. Trim your dog’s paw hair to prevent debris from getting trapped, and regularly inspect the paw pads for any signs of damage or irritation. Keeping your dog’s paw pads moisturized can also help prevent cracking and dryness, which can make them more susceptible to heat-related injuries.
What to Do If Your Dogs’ Paws Get Burned
If your dog’s paws get burned on hot asphalt, acting promptly to alleviate their discomfort and prevent further injury is important. Begin by gently leading your dog to a cooler surface, like grass or shaded pavement. If you have a small dog, feel free to pick them up and carry them home.
Next, examine their paws carefully to assess the extent of the burns; if they are severe, seek veterinary attention immediately.
You can relieve mild burns by cleaning the affected paws with cool water and mild, pet-safe soap. Applying a soothing, veterinarian-approved ointment and covering the paws with a light bandage can help protect them.
Encourage your dog to rest and avoid walking on hard surfaces until their paws have healed. Regularly monitor the healing progress and consult your vet if there are any signs of infection or if things worsen. Prevention is critical, so try to walk your dog during cooler times of the day and test the pavement’s temperature with your hand before allowing your dog to walk on it.
As a loving and responsible pet owner, your dog’s safety is paramount, especially when faced with the intense heat of a Florida summer. By recognizing the dangers of hot asphalt and taking proactive steps to protect your dog’s paws, you can ensure that your furry companion enjoys a comfortable and enjoyable outdoor experience. Whether using protective gear, opting for cooler walking times, or sticking to grassy and shaded areas, your efforts will protect your dogs’ paws and overall well-being and happiness during the hot weather.
Do you need a dog walker in the Ocala, Florida, area? Look no further; Leashes to Leads is here for all your pet-sitting and dog-walking needs! Contact us today to book a consultation and discuss your dog-walking needs!