dogs and hot asphalt

The warm summer months are perfect for enjoying long walks with your pooch. Whether it is enjoying a sunset walk after you get home from work, taking a trip on a trail you’ve always wanted to explore, or going for a day time jog around the block, dog walks are great for you and your dog alike. However in the summer dog owners must be aware of how hot asphalt can get during a warm day – dogs and hot asphalt are a dangerous combination.

Did you know that asphalt can reach 125 degrees during a sunny, 75 degree day? If the temperature outside is 85 degrees, asphalt in the sun can reach over 140 degrees! These temperatures will easily burn your dog’s paw pads. The best way to avoid a paw pad injury is to always be aware of how warm it is outside before going for a walk that could have your dog walking on a surface such as asphalt, metal, wood, or sand that has been in direct sunlight. Here are a few prevention tips that can help your dog avoid hot asphalt and other common surfaces that quickly heat up in the sun.

  • To determine if asphalt or other surface is too hot for your dog to walk on place the back of your hand on the surface and try to keep it there for 5 seconds. If you cannot keep your hand there for 5 seconds it is too hot for your dog to walk on.
  • Try walking your dog either earlier in the morning before 11:00am or after 6:00pm. The ground should be cool enough for your dog to safely walk on during these times.
  • Let your dog walk on grass near asphalt or the sidewalk you normally walk on if you cannot avoid a walk during the highest temperatures of the day.
  • Purchase a pair of dog booties that will protect the pads on your dog’s paws if you know you will be going on dog walks during the hottest hours of the day.

Sometimes accidents happen; your dog may get loose and run on hot asphalt, or you may make the mistake of not realizing how warm it is outside. These accidents happen to even the most diligent pet parents. If your dog accidently gets a paw pad burn there are a few things you can do at home if the pads are just sore, if they are blistered or raw, you should bring your dog into the vet.

  • Clean the paws off with a mild antibacterial soap and water rinse. Carefully dry your dog’s paws after.
  • You can use the spray Bactine on the paws to help prevent any infections and to also help numb any tenderness in the pads.
  • Use a self-adhering sports wrap to cover the sore paw pads and to prevent licking. You can also use a pair of baby socks to cover your dog’s paws too.
  • If you dog has visible open wounds on their pads you should take them to the vet for proper treatment that may require a prescription antibiotic to prevent any infections.

Remember these helpful tips and your dog and hot asphalt shouldn’t have any issues this summer. Enjoy the warm months with your four-legged best friend and don’t worry about paw pad burns. If there is an accident and you need to bring your dog in for paw pad burn treatments, simply call us at (973) 579-1155 and schedule an appointment. We will do our best to get your dog into see the vet as quickly as possible!