Can Your Dog’s Paws Handle the Heat?

Tips and Tricks for Keeping Your Dog's Paws Safe This Summer

With the unpredictable weather we often get in Hamilton, temperatures and outdoor conditions can quickly change from one day to the next or even from hour to hour. During extreme temperatures at both ends of the thermometer, deciding how best to take care of your dog can give you paws pause. One of the things to consider in these warmer months is whether your typical walk around the neighbourhood is too hot on your dog’s paws to handle.

There are a few rules of thumb to help you determine whether walking on pavement is a possibility or if you should consider an alternate walking route.

Tip #1: Use Your Own Paw to Test Out the Pavement
This tip comes from the Florida SPCA (where they deal year-round with the heat and the humidity we get in the summer months!) Place the back of your hand on the pavement to simulate what your dog’s paws would feel on the ground. If you can’t hold it there for 5 seconds, it’s too hot for your dog to walk on.

If your dog is still a puppy, their sensitive paws may not even be able to handle this temperature – use your judgment with young dogs and watch for any cues that they need to cool off. And be sure to keep an Aloe first-aid spray around in case of any minor burns!

Tip #2: Mix Up Your Walking Routine
Instead of pounding the pavement together, try a shady hike on a trail (be sure to check for ticks after!), head to a grassy park or play a great game of catch in the backyard. If you won’t have time to try a new route, consider dropping your dog for a few hours of fun with our Pay to Play Service or spend the day with us in Doggie Daycare!

Tip #3: Put Some Shoes On (Your Dog)
This might be a hard sell for some pups, but using dog boots can provide great protection in the summer and winter. As a bonus, there are boot/shoe options out there that not only provide relief from the heat/cold but also work well on rocky surfaces – perfect for that shady hike!

With these tips in mind, you can help keep your dog’s paws happy and healthy in the summer heat, just don’t forget to keep up with their nail trimming and schedule your next grooming appointment!