Summertime presents its own unique set of dangers to your pup’s paw pads? The summer can be very hard on dog’s paw pads. Here are some great dog paw safety tips.
Common Causes of Summer Paw Pad Injuries in Dogs
- Hot Surfaces – Outdoor surfaces can reach blazing temperatures quickly under the summer sun. Your dog’s paws feel heat extremes too. Tar-coated asphalt, concrete, paving stones, and sand can all become hot enough to burn your dog’s feet very quickly. Less obvious hot surfaces are metal grates, manhole covers, boat docks, and car or truck surfaces.To prevent burns and blisters, avoid walking your dog on hot surfaces. Morning walks before the sidewalk is sizzling are a safe practice. Walk your dog on the cool side of the street or in the grass. Remember, if you wouldn’t want to walk on it barefoot, neither does Fido.
- The Danger of Softened Paws – There’s a bit more to keeping your pup’s paw pads safe this summer than just avoiding hot surfaces. Fun time in the pool or lake will soften your dog’s pads up, making them more susceptible to burns and injuries. Moisturizers, such as lotions not intended for paw pads, can have the same effect, so make sure you choose paw pad products carefully.
- Foxtails – Foxtails are another danger that peaks during the summer months. These are grasses with razor-sharp needles that can burrow into a dog’s skin, migrate through soft tissue, and cause serious injury, infection, or even death. Paw fur picks up debris easily, making paw inspections after hikes through dense grass especially important. Special care must be taken with long-haired dogs who can more easily hide skin issues.
Signs of Dog Paw Pad Problems
Many owners don’t notice burned or injured paw pads until the dog shows signs of injury. Signs include:
- Atypical pulling on leash to run in the direction of darker sections of road surfaces instead of politely walking on leash
- Limping, refusal to stand, or walk
- Paw pads that have changed in color and become darker
- Inflamed, raw, or blistered pads
- Bleeding feet or loose flaps of paw pads
- Licking or chewing at injured feet obsessively and with an acute onset
Read more about your dog’s paw care at PetPlace.com