Do I need to protect my pet’s paws?

A major advantage of a pet door is that it allows the pet to choose whether to be outdoors or indoors. Most still like to take their dogs for walks – there are many benefits to going for a walk together – but when the pet can no longer decide where to stand or when it’s enough, we humans have to be alert.

Dog pawsIn the summertime, asphalt gets extremely hot. Walking with bare paws on hot asphalt can give burns so bad they must be treated by a veterinarian. Dogs covet time with their humans and may not show that something is wrong until it’s too late. Put the back of your hand on the pavement. If you can’t keep it there for at least five seconds, it’s too warm for your pet to walk on.

There is also the risk of heat stroke. On warm days, limit outside time, stay on grass, and plan your dog walks for mornings and evenings when the pavement is cooler.

Depending on living conditions there may be no other choice than walking on asphalt. There are dog booties that can help protect the sensitive paws and prevent burns. They may take a while to get used to, but it’s much better than dangerous and painful burns.

In wintertime, make sure the dog’s paws are dry before going outside. Dogs can get frostbite just like people. Watch for clumps of snow on the paws – snow accumulating between the toes can make walking painful – and avoid stepping in salt and chemicals. The dogs will wash themselves when they come in, and they will ingest any chemicals that are on their paws.

If your pet does step in salt or chemicals, make sure you wash their paws before they have a chance to lick them.