Walking your dog in summer
As the temperatures soar, enjoying outdoor walks with your dog becomes a summer ritual. However, with the rising heat, it's important to be mindful of the dangers hot pavements pose to your dog's sensitive paws.
Understanding the risk
The pavement can become scorching under the summer sun, reaching temperatures that can burn your dog's paw pads. When the air hits 25°C, surfaces like asphalt can become unbearable for delicate paws, reaching temperatures of up to 52°C – a situation that can cause burns and significant discomfort. Contact with such heated surfaces can lead to burns, blisters, and immense discomfort for your four-legged companion.
How to check the temperature
Before venturing out, conduct a quick temperature check of the pavement. Place the back of your hand on the surface for seven seconds. If it's too hot for your hand, it's too hot for your dog's paws. Imagine if you walked on the pavement with bare feet in this heat!
Protecting your dog's paws
It's essential to understand the risks and take proactive steps to protect your pup. There are lots of ways to protect your dog's paws through the summer:
- Walk at different times of day - Optimal walking times are early morning or late evening when temperatures are milder.
- Different places to walk - If you're near a dog-friendly beach, consider a refreshing seaside stroll. Choose a shaded route - opt for shaded paths, forests, or grassy areas to minimise paw pad exposure to hot pavement.
- Take shorter walks - Consider shorter walks on hot days to reduce the time your dog spends on hot surfaces. Carry water for both you and your dog, as staying hydrated is crucial to prevent overheating. Accessories like cooling bandanas can help regulate your pup's body temperature.
After walk care
After summer walks, here are some helpful ways you can keep your dog's paws in tip-top shape.
- Paw checks - Regularly inspect your dog's paw pads for any signs of damage or discomfort. Early detection ensures timely intervention.
- Paw soak - After each walk, treat your pup to a soothing paw soak in cool water. You can add some paw soak powder to alleviate potential irritations and provide a refreshing sensation.
- Paw balm - Apply a dog-friendly paw balm. This hydrates and moisturises your dog's paw pads, and has anti-inflammatory properties.
By being aware of the dangers of hot pavement and taking preventive measures, you can ensure that every stroll is a safe and enjoyable adventure under the sun. Remember, a few precautions can make a world of difference in keeping your pup cool, happy, and healthy throughout the summer months.