As summer rolls in with its scorching temperatures, it’s important to remember that our furry friends are more susceptible to heat related issues as we are, and the effects of heat on dog paws. A beautiful 85-degree weather day seems perfect to us when we throw on our shoes to shield our feet from the hot pavement. Our canine companions on the other hand, rely on just their paw pads to navigate around the world.
How Do I Know it’s Too Hot?
Heat and the effects on your dog can depend on a lot of different factors. Their breed, size, hydration levels, and of course how hot it is outside. A big piece to remember is that dogs do collect a lot of heat through their paw pads as well.
A general rule of thumb to use before you take your dog on a walk is the “five second rule.” No, this isn’t the same as dropping a piece of your food on the ground and picking it up. This rule rather has you testing the temperature with your hand or bare feet and seeing if you can hold it there for five seconds without it hurting you. A lot of veterinarians would argue to go all the way to 10 seconds to get an even better idea of how hot it may be on your pups paws.
It is also good to understand that 85 degrees or higher is generally too hot for your furry friends paws and overall body heat. In AKC’s blog post, How Hot Is Too Hot for a Dog’s Paws?, they were able to gather information from the American Medical Association that air temperature of just 86 degrees can raise asphalt temperatures to 135 degrees! In just a couple of short minutes, your dog could experience blistering on their paws with those kinds of temperatures.
A lot of people forget that asphalt is not just the only surface that can damage your dogs’ paws. Artificial grass or turf can become extremely hot as well due to the infill and polymer used to create the product. In some versions of artificial grass, the temperatures of the turf can be much higher than the temperatures of asphalt.
How to Prevent and Protect Your Pups Paws
Luckily, a lot of different companies have created different products to help with our furry companions. Although it may look goofy and your pup may have to get used to them, dog booties are one of the best solutions in preventing any sort of damage. As humans we are only able to walk on 135-degree sidewalks because of the shoes we wear. If you do end up getting dog booties for your pup, it is recommended that you research the perfect size as you want them to be comfortable. It is also recommended that you have them wear them inside for periods of time, so they get used to the feeling. Of course, an easy solution is doing any outdoor activities on the grass and hopefully under any shade if possible. Grass holds water a lot better throughout the day and has more of a “natural cooling” that can help protect your dogs’ paws. Some companies have produced different products like paw pad wax to try to protect. The only issue is that the wax will wear off and fade.
Our number one solution, potential bias, is bringing them to a doggy day care center like Dogtopia of Boise-Greenbelt. An indoor doggie daycare facility where your furry friend can get all their energy out in a safe, cool, and comfortable environment. On a hot 95 degree day, our facility stays at a pleasant 70 degrees. Understanding the effect of heat on your dog’s paws is crucial for responsible pet ownership. By taking proactive measures to protect their paws from hot surfaces, staying vigilant for signs of discomfort or injury, and providing them with the correct forms of prevention, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable summer for your furry friend. Just a little extra care and attention can go a long way in keeping your dog’s paws happy, healthy, and ready for this summer!
To learn more or get your pup signed up for daycare, book a Meet & Greet for them today.