It’s hot out there! Did you know that even with a thick coat of fur, your dog can get burned? We’re not talking about sunburns—though some dogs do need doggy sunscreen. Instead, we’re talking about a lesser-known, scary condition called pad burn. You’ll want to understand how to spot the symptoms, plus easy techniques for avoiding the problem in the first place.
Pad burn in dogs
Pad burns occur on dogs’ paws after they walk on hot pavement or asphalt. Often extremely painful for your dog, they can require immediate medical attention.
To prevent pad burns, try walking your dog on dirt or grass paths. Avoid black asphalt, as it is very, very hot and can burn the pads instantly. Test the pavement and asphalt before you let your dog walk on it; if it’s too hot to keep your hand or foot on it for 30 seconds, then it’s too hot for your pup.
Tip: A good test—walk barefoot on the surface yourself! If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog.
Your dog may show you that his feet hurt, too. Look for behaviors like veering off to the grass or pulling back on the leash to stop moving.
Symptoms of pad burns
- Refusing to walk or limping
- Darker than usual or discolored pads
- Excessive licking or biting of feet
- Visible blisters or extreme redness
- Missing parts of the pads
If you notice these symptoms, seek immediate vet assistance. If this isn’t an option, keep your dog in a cool grassy area to minimize the pain. Also keep a firm eye on the conditions of their pads, as they can easily become infected. Flush their feet with cool water and try to prevent your dog from licking them to minimize infection.
Delicate paw pads
Paw pads aren’t shoes. Not only do hot surfaces hurt dog’s paws, but rough ones can too. Rugged terrain may tear up your dog’s feet.
Dog booties to the rescue
In addition to avoiding trouble spots, you can also use puppy boots to keep your dog’s feet protected. This article has everything you need to know about dog boot options and finding the right fit. Keep in mind that boots take some getting used to for most dogs. Be patient and put them on for short intervals. They’ll adjust in no time.
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Featured image: Bernie the pit bull was stranded on a hot rooftop in 2011. Read more about his story here.