Summer Paw Protection: 7 Easy Steps for a Paw-some Season

In the heat of the summer, those hot asphalt and sandy beaches can feel like a dance floor on fire for your canine companion's tender paws. But, worry not! We've got you covered with seven super tips to keep your fur buddy's paws safe and cool, ensuring your summer fun stays intact!

1. Heat Test the Terrain

Before you venture out with your dog, test the ground temperature. Place the back of your hand on the surface - if you can't hold it there comfortably for 5 to 7 seconds, it's a no-go zone for your pet's delicate paws.

2. Explore Cooler Routes

When the sun is on a roll, avoid cement paths. Instead, hunt for cooler, gentler alternatives like a park with walking trails, a school running track (if public access is permitted), shady or grass-filled paths, or even a backyard play area. If it's a particularly sweltering day, how about a splash at a dog-friendly beach, lake, or pool? Your extra effort in finding these cooler routes will be paid back in wagging tails!

3. Timing is Everything

Avoid the heat by walking your dog early in the morning or late in the evening when the outdoor surfaces have had time to cool down. This usually means setting out before 8 a.m. or after 7 p.m. These are the cooler pockets of the day when the chances of paw burns significantly decrease.

4. Indoor Exercise for the Win

On those hot, humid days, it's not a great idea to exercise outdoors. Instead, switch to indoor games that provide mental stimulation and physical workout for your dog, like a family round of 'call the pup'. This not only offers a good run for your pet but also strengthens your bond with them.

5. Booties to the Rescue

In places where avoiding asphalt isn't an option, dog booties can be a real paw-saver. If your pet is new to dog shoes, acclimate them gradually. Show them the booties, touch their paws with them, and then practice putting them on and off - rewarding each step with a treat. Bonus tip: dog shoes are great for winters too, offering protection from ice, rock, and salt.

6. The Wonder of Paw Wax

If your dog isn't thrilled about wearing booties, consider using paw wax. It forms a barrier against hot surfaces and harmful chemicals while also keeping the paws moisturized to prevent cuts and cracks.

7. After-Walk Paw Checks

Always inspect your dog's paws after a hot-weather outing. Watch out for burns, blisters, cuts, thorns, or any debris stuck between their pads. If you see anything concerning or if your dog seems reluctant to walk, it's time to ring up the vet. Regular paw checks also help keep a check on dryness and cracking, and applying a good canine foot cream can keep those paws healthy and happy!

So, there you go, pet parents! With these seven steps in your arsenal, you can keep your pup's paws safe and cool this summer, ensuring your walks remain a source of joy, no matter the heat!