Dog drinking water on a hot day.

The summer sun is great for pool parties and lazy days at the beach, but when the mercury rises, so do the chances of your pet’s paws being burned by hot surfaces. Sidewalks, pavement, and beach sand can get much hotter than the ambient temperature, which leaves those precious paw pads vulnerable to burns and blisters. 

Your pet’s paws deserve pampering year-round, but special precautions are necessary in the summer heat. At Animal Medical Center, we want you and your pets to enjoy a fun-filled summer with plenty of outdoor time together. We’ve put together some practical suggestions for keeping pets—and their paws—safe and healthy. 

Get in Touch With Surface Temps

Before heading out for a walk in warmer weather, place the back of your hand on the sidewalk or asphalt. Can you keep your hand comfortably on the surface for 5 seconds? If not, it’s too hot for your pet. 

Be an Early Bird or a Night Owl

Keeping your dog active is important for his physical and mental health, so don’t skimp on walks. Time your dog’s walks for early in the morning or later in the evening when pathways are cooler.

Keep On the Grass

When nature calls, your dog needs to go outside no matter how hot it is. Stay on the grass or stick to shady areas for potty breaks. And when it’s exercise time, a grassy dog park is the perfect place for your canine companion to run off energy without burning his paws.

Buy Some Booties

Sometimes it’s hard to completely avoid hot pavement. If this is the case, dog booties can protect your pooch’s paws. Practice indoors getting your pup used to his new shoes, and gradually increase the length of time he wears them. Another option: paw wax, which is especially designed to protect paws from hot surfaces like sidewalks and sand. 

Don’t Forget Your Feline!

If your cat enjoys the occasional supervised sunbathing session in the great outdoors (or if you have one of those rare felines who tolerates walks on a leash), his paws need protection, too. Use the same precautions above, and be mindful of patio and catio surface temps.

Make Paw Care a Priority

Take a quick peek at your pet’s paws after any hot-weather activity. Look for cuts, blisters, redness, or debris trapped between the toes or in the paw pads. Cat and dog balms are available that can protect and soothe dry or cracked paw pads. 

When to Call the Doctor

If your pet is limping (or avoids walking altogether); excessively licking or chewing his feet; or his paw pads are visibly damaged, contact us right away. Blisters and burns can lead to infections, which require antibiotics. And if his injuries are severe, he may need pain medication as well.

Our team is here to help you keep your pets healthy and safe all year long. Please contact us at (813) 654-6222 if your pet needs a checkup or if you’d like more animal safety tips.