Your Dog’s Health
Summer Paw Safety
Minnesota is a land of extreme temperatures that demand special care for our four-legged friends. While winter brings bone chilling cold, snow, and ice, August often brings the hottest days in summer. When temperatures run high, dogs are at risk for heat stroke, sunburn, and paw injuries. Remember, if the ground is too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog.
Here are a few tips to help you and your best friend beat the heat while pounding the pavement:
- Walk Smart. When possible, take walks in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the sun being at its highest.
- Play in the Shade. Pavement is hottest in afternoons and early evenings, stick to the grass or find shady areas to play.
- Pamper Paws. Moisturizing or using paw wax keeps paws in prime condition no matter the season. Look for special canine formulas like Cain & Able Moisturizing Paw Rub and Musher’s Secret.
- Dress for Success. When in doubt, booties and socks offer serious paw protection in summer as well as winter.
- Routine Grooming. Regular nail and hair trimming will ensure optimum paw condition by keeping a dog’s stride healthy and reducing the opportunity for debris to become trapped, leading to injury.
Signs of paw burn or trauma include:
- Limping or refusing to walk
- Licking or chewing feet
- Missing parts of pad or pads that are darker in color
- Blisters and/or redness
If you are concerned that your dog has sustained a burn, move her to a grassy area as soon as possible and flush the injured paw with cool water. Whining or heavy panting can indicate pain, use care while interacting with the dog and carry her if possible. Contact a veterinarian to assess medical treatment immediately, antibiotics are often required to prevent infection.