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Minnesota Veterinary Hospital Blog

Avoid a Hot Asphalt Injury with Your Dog

Although summer is winding down in Minnesota, August is typically the hottest month of the year. Unfortunately, many dog owners fail to realize that the temperature of asphalt often exceeds 100 degrees and can cause serious injuries to uncovered paws. Your dog’s paw pads can withstand a lot, so it might not be obvious to you right away that she has burned them. If you suspect an injury, be sure to look for these symptoms:
  • Walking with a limp
  • Blistering skin
  • Licking or chewing his feet
  • Parts of the paw pad have a darker color or is missing
  • Refusal to walk any further
  • Extreme redness
If you do spot any of these issues, clean your dog’s paws immediately and cool them down with a damp cloth. Be sure to follow up with Minnesota Veterinary Hospital so we can determine if you dog has deeper burns or any infections.

Preventing Burns to Your Dog’s Paw Pads
Your dog still needs to exercise, even when it’s hot and humid outside. It’s not necessary to avoid taking her outside for fear of a hot asphalt injury, but you do need to take precautions. This starts with making sure that you lead your dog on the walk and not the other way around. This allows you to spot metal surfaces, hot sidewalks, and other dangers and steer clear of them. If it looks too hot for your dog to walk on, you will either have to carry her if possible or take a detour to find a cooler, grassy area to complete your walk.
Most people wouldn’t dream of walking outside without shoes, but don’t consider protecting their dog’s paws with pet-sized slippers. It might look a little unusual, but covering your dog’s paw pads allows you to walk wherever the two of you want to. If your dog puts up a fuss about wearing them, you may need to skip or cut short the daily walk until he gets the idea. We also recommend avoiding walking with your dog between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the most intense.

Other Tips for Surviving the Hot Weather
It will be time for back to school before you know it. Make sure you enjoy the rest of the summer with your dog by keeping her hydrated and not allowing her to spend several hours each day in the direct path of the sun. We also urge you to never leave your dog in a hot car, not even for a minute. Your dog can become very ill or succumb to the heat much faster than you probably thought possible.
We wish you a happy rest of the summer. Feel free to contact us during regular office hours with questions or urgent concerns at 651-484-3331. You can also click here for after-hours emergency contact information.
Photo Credit: damedeeso / Getty Images