Summer means more time spent outdoors on walks with Fido and soaking up the sun. However, if you notice your dog is wanting to lay down in the grass instead of walking, it may be due to the temperature of the asphalt.
Just like how the inside of a car is much warmer than the outside temperature, asphalt follows that same rule. Asphalt can quickly reach high temperatures that will burn the sensitive pads on the bottom of Fido’s paws. If it is 77 degrees outside the asphalt in the sun is 125 degrees, which will cause serious damage to your dog’s pads. Just imagine what a 90 degree day would do.
A dog’s pads on the bottom of their paws are as sensitive as our bare-feet. So an easy test to see if asphalt is too warm to walk your dog on, is to touch it with your bare foot. If it is too hot for you, it is too hot for your dog. To avoid the high temperatures you can plan your walks in the morning, when temperatures are typically cooler.
After a walk be sure to inspect Fido’s pads. If the pads are red relieve the heat by putting the paws in cold water. If they are blistered or peeling, contact your vet.
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If you need to let your dog outside during the hottest part of the day, do so in the grass. The grass will be cooler and that is where all the fun smells are for Fido. Restrain from dragging or pulling your dog because you think they are being stubborn. Dogs are intelligent and may be trying to tell you their paws are in pain.
Another option is to bring your dog to the lake to run through the water. The cool water will feel refreshing on Fido’s paws. Not to mention, you can dip your toes in the water for a cool down.
To be extra safe you can purchase a pair of dog booties to provide protection.
Other surfaces to be cautious of are metal and sand, as they can become hot in the sun and burn Fido’s pads. Think twice before bringing Fido to an event that will involve a lot of pavement walking, like farmers markets. Keep these tips in mind as you enjoy summer with Fido.
Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast that resides in West Michigan. When not writing, she is exploring the great outdoors with her dogs and horses.
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