Protecting Pet Paws During the Summer Months

Handshake Between Dog and HandAlthough the Bay Area boasts cool to moderate temps, even during the summer, most states have experienced higher than average temperatures the past few years. Couple this with increased exposure to UV rays and our love of outdoor activities, and it’s understandable why pet paws may be more at risk.

Vacation time also means catching some waves and exploring your favorite spots in nature. From hot sand to sizzling sidewalks, help protect those sensitive pet paws with some basic care tips.

Dangers to Pet Paws

Although you may not realize it, pet paws are actually quite sensitive and prone to injury. Hard surfaces can be brutal on paws because they’re abrasive and soak up the hot sun quickly.

Natural areas can also present dangers to your pet’s tootsies. Lakes and beaches can be rife with litter, which can become embedded in paw pads and cause cuts or other wounds.

Whether chilling in the yard or exploring a favorite summer hangout, be aware of the following risks:

Burn dangers:

  • Concrete
  • Asphalt
  • Sand
  • Packed dirt
  • Decks

Other risks:

  • Foxtails and burrs
  • Broken glass
  • Twigs
  • Sharp rocks
  • Fishing lures

Injury Prevention Tips for Pet Paws

Heat-related dangers like dehydration, sunburn, and heatstroke should certainly be areas of concern for pet owners. However, don’t forget to give pet paws some summertime TLC and extra attention as well.

  • Before walking your pet, check surface temps by placing your palm on the ground. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet.
  • If you do a lot of walking or hiking, consider putting protective booties on your dog.
  • Spend time outside during the early morning or evening hours, when it’s cooler.
  • Opt to walk or play with your pet on the grass.  
  • Check and clean your pet’s paw pads after spending time outside.
  • Treat your fur friend to a soothing paw pad balm or moisturizer (great for reducing dryness and splitting).

Along with basic paw care, know the symptoms of paw injury and burns. These include:

  • Pain when feet or paws are touched
  • Reluctance to walk
  • Cracking
  • Bleeding
  • Blistering
  • Inflammation
  • Hot to the touch
  • Peeling of pads
  • Limping, holding up paws
  • Vocalization

Keep in mind, some symptoms may indicate second or third degree burns. These should be treated as a veterinary emergency to prevent shock, dehydration, and infection.

Do not attempt to treat serious burns at home. There are many false methods that could actually cause additional harm to your pet.

Please contact us with additional questions or concerns.