Here in Arkansas and across the country, extreme heat is causing health problems for people– and for dogs, too. As dog owners, we need to protect our furry friends from extreme heat, and also from a heat-related danger that a lot of dog owners don’t think about: burnt paws.
Avoid burnt paws
The best plan to keep your Goldendoodle safe from burnt paws is not to allow her to burn her paws in the first place. You’re probably not spending a lot of time walking barefoot outside on these super hot days, though, so you might not realize how hot those walking surfaces are.
Surfaces like asphalt and the materials used for running trails collect and store heat. If it’s a fairly comfortable 78 degrees outside in the evening, you might enjoy a walk outdoors and want to take your pup with you. However, the surface of the road or trail could be much hotter than the ambient temperature. One university study found afternoon temperatures of asphalt on their campus averaged 122 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s close to the temperature of a stove burner on low.
Here are some ways to avoid burnt paws:
- Take your Goldendoodle for walks early in the morning, before the road or trail surface has collected heat and before the ambient temperature gets hot.
- Play on grass instead of walking on trails. Since plants use sunshine for photosynthesis instead of converting it into heat, it will be cooler with plants around and cooler on the grass.
- Use dog shoes. If your pooch doesn’t mind wearing them, they can protect your Goldendoodle’s feet the same way your shoes protect you.
Treat burned paws
What if your pet has already hurt her feet? You can tell if she limps, licks her paws, or cries when she puts weight on her feet.
Start by soaking her paws in cool water to stop the burning. If she won’t cooperate, you can use a cold wet washcloth to soothe the pads of her feet.
After a 10-minute soak, wash her paws and pour on some peroxide or beta dine to avoid infection. For the same reason, you should keep her indoors until the pads have healed. This could take a week.
If your dog has severe burns on her paws, she should see the vet. If she insists on licking or chewing on the painful paws, she may need a collar to prevent that. t’s easy for burnt paws to become infected.
While burnt paws are painful, they usually heal without any long-term effects.