Dog Health, Pet Tips

Hot Pavement Can Burn Pets’ Paws

July 21, 2022

Pavement Burn Paws

We love paws here at Paw Print!  That should be pretty obvious, considering the name of my blog!  Since we moved out of the city, I love walking around outside barefoot.  It’s given me first hand experience to just how hot some surfaces can get outside in the summer sun.  Pavement and other large, dark surfaces seem to be the worst offenders.  It’s one thing for me, a person, to walk on hot surfaces in the summer.  If the temperature is too uncomfortable I can easily move to a cooler location.  But what about our pets?

Did you know that walking on hot pavement, as well as other hot surfaces, can actually burn pets’ paws? 

Pavement Burn PawsAnimals can be stoic when it comes to showing pain, and they can’t talk to tell us that their feet hurt during hot weather walks.  It’s up to us to keep them safe!

Signs of burned paw pads include paw pads that look darker than usual, redness, limping, unwillingness to continue walking, blisters, missing sections or loose flaps on the paw pad, ulcerated patches, and excessive licking or chewing of the foot.

If your dog experiences any of these symptoms, the first step should be cooling his/her paws down.  Get your pet away from hot surfaces (grass is usually much cooler than pavement) and, if possible, gently rinse his/her paws with cool water.

Burns are very painful, so the best course of action if you think your pet may have burned paws, is a trip to the veterinarian. 

Depending on how severe the burns are, your vet may prescribe antibiotics, salves, and/or pain medication.

The best option, however, is to prevent burns in the first place!

Pavement Burn Paws

Try to avoid surfaces that commonly get excessively hot in the summer, such as metal, sand, and asphalt.  When possible, walk your dog early in the morning or at night after the sun goes down – times when the outdoor temperatures are cooler.  If you’re not sure whether or not the pavement is too hot for your pet, try testing the temperate with a bare foot or your hand.  If the pavement is too hot for you to comfortably stand on barefoot, or you cannot comfortably keep your hand pressed against it for at least 10 seconds, than chances are it’s too hot for your pet as well.

Practice good paw maintenance.  It’s easier to spot any potential problems on a paw that is clean and well kept.  If, for some reason, you have to take your dog out during the hottest parts of the day, consider using doggy shoes or boots to protect your dog’s feet.  You may get some strange looks from the neighbors, but at least your pup won’t have to deal with painful paws!

Be sure to also check out some of our other summer pet safety tips, such as what to do if your dog is bitten by a snake!

Pavement Burn Paws

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16 Comments

  • Reply Sand Spring Chesapeakes July 17, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Great advice, have a great day.

    • Reply Michelle July 17, 2013 at 11:32 am

      Thank you! 🙂 Hope you have a great day as well.

  • Reply Jana Rade August 14, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    That is such a great reminder. If the pavement is too hot for the top of human hand, it is too hot for the paws too. Cookie is lucky, there is only dirt and grass where she goes.

    When we were going for training, though, she was clearly unhappy even though other dogs didn’t seem to mind. She’s not used to pavement at all.

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack August 18, 2020 at 3:18 pm

      Hot pavement was much more of an issue for us before we moved. Now that we have a yard, I can just let the puppers play in the grass when it’s too hot to walk them on the pavement. My little guys have always seemed especially sensitive to surfaces that are too hot, or cold, too.

  • Reply The Dash Kitten Crew August 14, 2020 at 6:40 pm

    It’s fantastic to find a dog blog addressing this issue. I know that it is something people often forget but it bears repeating over and over again. Heat Hurts!

    I remember our trip to BlogPaws® in 2016 in Phoenix, AZ. It was C39/45+ and people were provided with indoor walking areas and to take their pups out after dark when it was a bit cooler. Until then I had not thought – so this post matters every day for every dog!

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack August 18, 2020 at 3:21 pm

      That’s awesome that the BlogPaws convention set up indoor areas! When we used to live in the city, where we couldn’t really avoid walking on pavement, I would have to make sure to walk my boys either early in the morning or later at night. I didn’t think of that and you’re so right, some places are hot no matter what time of the year it is! I’ve always lived in the east coast where we have more seasonal weather.

  • Reply Tiffany August 15, 2020 at 6:45 pm

    Excellent advice! I’m always worried about my little pups burning their paws. This year I just started using a paw moisturizer and paw wax to try and help add a little extra protection. They really are so stoic when they’re hurting.

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack August 18, 2020 at 3:23 pm

      I used to use Musher’s Secret paw wax quite often but ever since we moved I’ve been kind of nervous to use it. We have hardwood floors and I’m worried the wax on their paws will make them slide more on the floors! I’ve been thinking of trying to apply it at night so it can soak in when they’re sleeping, or right before we go out for a walk, but I keep forgetting.

  • Reply Britt K August 16, 2020 at 9:57 pm

    This is so important! While I would have time to take my pups for a walk during my lunch break, we always wait until the evening during the summer. The sidewalks are FAR too hot at noon. By the time my husband gets home from work, things have started to cool down so that they can take a safe and enjoyable walk with us. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack August 18, 2020 at 3:25 pm

      For sure! I’d imagine having burned paws would be really, really painful. Especially when we still lived in the city, I had to rearrange my schedule in the summer as well, to make sure I could walk my boys during the cooler parts of the day.

  • Reply Emilia August 17, 2020 at 8:02 am

    This is something not enough people think about! Pavement, rocks, concrete. Test before travel.

    Those of us with leash walking cats need to keep this in mind too and I rarely see mentioned.

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack August 18, 2020 at 3:26 pm

      You’re so right! Cat owners who walk their cats rock and I should have mentioned them too.

  • Reply Dorothy “FiveSibesMom” August 17, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    Great post and such an important reminder! We’ve been hyper aware here with blacktop in our development. I walk my huskies early and late when there’s shade and road feels cool, but I am always shocked at how many walk their dogs in the heat and sun, I cringe inside. Some folks need this blog post! I love your paws & peds pic, so cute!

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack August 18, 2020 at 3:28 pm

      Aw thanks! I used to see quite a few people walking their dogs during the hottest part of the day, on the pavement in the city and I’d always cringe too! I’m SO thankful we have a yard now so if my boys need/want to go outside and it’s too hot to walk them I can just let them play in the grass instead.

  • Reply Sweet Purrfections August 18, 2020 at 7:23 pm

    I remember when BlogPaws was in Phoenix and the heat was over 100 degrees. They were warning everyone to be careful with their dogs and provided doggie booties for them.

    • Reply Michelle & The Paw Pack August 19, 2020 at 8:43 pm

      I wish I had gotten to go to BlogPaws, but Phoenix is really far from us. Hearing everyone talk about how hot it was that year kind of makes me not regret not trying harder to get there lol. Forget my dogs, over 100 is too hot for me!

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