Protecting Your Pup’s Paws On Hot Pavement

May 19, 2020 | Health, Pets, Tips and Tricks

Have you ever wondered what the anatomy of a dog’s paw is?  I have and according to AKC, a dog’s paw is made up of skin, bone, tendons, ligaments, blood supply, and connective tissue. That doesn’t sound all that different from our anatomy and for that, we have to be extra cautious in walking our dogs on hot pavement.  Summer is here and we are antsy to get out with our pups but always be careful.  Think before you go out.  If it is too hot for us humans, it is way too hot for our pets.
 

Dirty noses and frisbee chews!

I asked Jake and Maggie if they wanted to go for a walk.  They grabbed their frisbees and ran to the back yard.  LOL!  

According to Washington State University news, in the absence of any wind and in direct sunlight, asphalt surfaces can reach 125 degrees, when the air temperature is only 77 degrees, according to Dr. James Berens work on thermal contact burns published in 1970 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. At 86 degrees, the asphalt temperature jumps to 135 degrees and at 87 degrees, only one degree more, the asphalt temperature rises to 143 degrees.  Hot enough to fry an egg? We’ve all heard the old adage but what temperature does it take to actually fry an egg in say 5 minutes?  The answer is, an egg will fry on a 131 degree surface in only five minutes.  And human skin destruction can occur in only 60 seconds on black pavement at a mere 125 degrees.  “One thing pet owners can do is to press the back of their hand against pavement,” explained Farnsworth.  “If you can’t hold it there for a full seven seconds it’s too hot for a pet’s paws.”
 

What to do before and after a walk to prevent your dog’s paws from damage:

-Test the pavement with your hand.  If it is too hot for you, it is too hot for you to walk your dog on it.
-Rubbing a little paw wax on your pup’s paws before walks can help create a protective layer. It’s designed to protect against heat during the hot summer months and harmful chemicals, like road salts, during cold winter months.  Even though you are putting a protective layer between your pet’s pads and the pavement, still be mindful that balms can wear off and temperatures can rise giving your pet burns.
-Moisturize your pet’s paws when you get home.  Just like humans, they can crack, bleed, and burn which will promote licking, biting, and infection.  Use coconut oil or order a good quality pet moisturizer from your vet or find a highly recommended one on the market.  Never put human moisturizer on your dog.
-Try ordering doggie shoes.  Your pet might not like them at first but they will save you and him much discomfort.  There are such cute pet shoes on Amazon to order.
-Inspect your pet’s paws after a walk especially if you notice limping and resistance to walk.  If you see blisters, red marks, or ulcers, immediately wash their paws with dog-safe antibacterial soap, followed by antibacterial cream such as Neosporin, and wrap loosely with gauze.  For more serious burns, see a vet immediately.

Step 1

If your dog’s paws get burned, immediately put his feet in cold water for at least 10 minutes. You can use a bathtub or a simple pan as long as the whole paw is submerged. If your dog refuses to keep his paw submerged, wet a washcloth and keep it pressed firmly against his paw for 10 minutes.

Step 2

After the pad has soaked, gently wash the pad with soap and water or betadine. Your dog’s paw will be extra sensitive so be careful while doing this.

Step 3

After you have thoroughly washed the pad, pat it dry with a towel. Do not rub the pad dry as this will only further irritate the skin.

Step 4

Apply an antibiotic ointment such as neosporin to the pad. This will help it heal.

Step 5

Cover the paw with a sock or gauze pads to prevent him from licking the burn.

Step 6

Evaluate the pad burn. If it doesn’t look like it’s healing, take your dog to the vet.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Carla Evans

    Aww good info. You need to start selling doggie shoes on your online store!!!! ????????

    Reply
    • Bobbi

      Thank you!

      Reply

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