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Why Hot Asphalt Can Harm Your Dog's Paws

Updated: Jun 1, 2023

Injured Dog paw from hot asphalt
South Pasadena Animal Hospital

As dog owners, it is our responsibility to prioritize the safety and well-being of our beloved pets. When the summer heat intensifies, it becomes crucial to be aware of the potential dangers that hot asphalt can pose to our dogs' delicate paws. The scorching pavement can cause discomfort, pain, and even severe injuries. In this blog post, we will delve into the reasons why hot asphalt can harm your dog's paws and explore practical measures to prevent these injuries. By understanding the risks and taking proactive steps, we can ensure that our furry companions can enjoy their walks without suffering from painful consequences.

The sensitivity of paw pads: A dog's paw pads are designed to provide protection and traction while walking. However, they are not equipped to withstand extreme temperatures. Paw pads are relatively thin and can easily be burned when exposed to hot surfaces like asphalt. The lack of sweat glands in their paw pads further limits their ability to cool down effectively.

Heat transfer and burns: Asphalt can reach scorching temperatures on hot summer days. When your dog walks or stands on hot pavement, the heat from the surface transfers to their paw pads, causing thermal burns. Dogs with lighter-colored or thinner fur, as well as those with shorter hair, are more susceptible to burns.

Signs of paw pad injuries: It's crucial to recognize the signs of paw pad injuries resulting from hot asphalt. Look out for symptoms such as limping, reluctance to walk, excessive licking or chewing of the paws, blisters, redness, swelling, or missing pieces of the paw pads. If you notice any of these signs, it's essential to call us at South Pasadena Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment with one of our Veterinarians.

Prevention is key: Preventing paw pad injuries on hot asphalt requires proactive measures. Consider the following preventive actions: a. Timing walks wisely: Plan your walks during cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening, when the pavement is cooler. b. Test the pavement: Before stepping out, place the back of your hand on the pavement. If it feels too hot to touch, it's too hot for your dog's paws. Opt for alternative walking surfaces like grass or shaded paths. c. Utilize protective gear: Dog booties can provide a barrier between the paws and hot asphalt. Introduce your dog to booties gradually and ensure they fit properly.

1. Ruffwear: Ruffwear is a well-known and trusted brand that offers a variety of dog booties designed for different outdoor activities. Their booties are known for their durability, traction, and secure fit. Ruffwear's booties feature a rugged sole for protection against hot surfaces, rocks, and other rough terrain. They come in various sizes and styles to accommodate different paw shapes and provide a comfortable and secure fit for your dog.

d. Paw wax or balms: Apply a paw wax or balm before walks to create a protective layer on your dog's paw pads. These products can help reduce the risk of burns.

1. Musher's Secret: Musher's Secret is a well-known brand that offers a natural and non-toxic paw protection wax. It is designed to create a barrier on your dog's paws, shielding them from hot surfaces, snow, ice, and harsh chemicals. Musher's Secret is made from a blend of natural waxes and oils, providing moisturizing and protective properties for your dog's paw pads.

2. Paw Soother by Natural Dog Company: Paw Soother is a trusted brand that specializes in natural and organic pet products. Their paw balm is formulated to heal, moisturize, and protect dry, cracked, and damaged paw pads. It contains ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, and vitamin E to nourish and rejuvenate your dog's paws while providing a protective layer against environmental elements.

3. Pet Paw Balm: Vets Preferred is a reputable brand recommended by veterinarians. Their Pet Paw Balm is specifically designed to protect and soothe dog's paw pads. It is made with natural ingredients such as beeswax, coconut oil, and aloe vera, providing moisturizing and healing properties. Vets Preferred Pet Paw Balm is ideal for preventing dryness, cracks, and damage from hot surfaces or harsh conditions.

e. Regular paw maintenance: Keep your dog's paw pads well-groomed and moisturized to maintain their resilience and health.

Additional considerations: It's important to note that not only hot asphalt can harm your dog's paws, but other surfaces can also become dangerously hot, such as sand, concrete, or metal. Always assess the temperature and choose suitable walking areas to prevent any potential injuries.

Protecting your dog's paws from the dangers of hot asphalt is a crucial part of responsible pet care. By understanding the risks associated with walking on scorching pavement and implementing preventive measures, you can ensure your furry friend stays safe and comfortable during summer walks. Remember, your dog's well-being is in your hands, so prioritize their paw health and take necessary precautions to prevent injuries caused by hot asphalt.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not substitute professional veterinary advice. If you have concerns about your dog's health or well-being, consult with one of our qualified Veterinarians at South Pasadena Animal Hospital.

Written by your friendly South Pasadena Animal Hospital Staff.

Office: 626-441-1314


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