A poodle out in the sand

There are few things that keep members of our active community from exercising. Instead of allowing ourselves to get into seasonal slumps, goal-oriented individuals commit to gratifying challenges. Pets are typically along for the ride, but sometimes the outdoor conditions are just too extreme.

While pet owners must be aware of the dangers related to overheating, it’s equally important to adopt a routine for summer paw care. That way, you and your pet can keep on truckin’ together throughout the entire season.

A Different 5-Second Rule

Perhaps the most essential component of summer paw care is knowing when to keep your pet’s feet off sizzling surfaces. Concrete, asphalt, gravel, sand, and even dirt can burn the delicate skin on the paw pads.

Place your palm or your own bare foot on your pet’s walking surface. Keep it there for at least 5 seconds. If it’s too hot for you to stand without protection, it’s definitely too hot for your pet.


Even if the air temperature is fairly mild, say 75 degrees, the actual surface temperature can soar well above triple digits.

Dogs regulate internal temperature by panting, but they do also sweat from the paw pads. This softens up the skin tissue to such a degree that if they walk on scorching walkways, they’ll likely suffer painful burns or blisters. Be watchful for this to occur after any time spent in water, as well.

Essential Summer Paw Care

One of the best ways to counter the negative effects of the sun is to simply exercise your pet during the hours surrounding dawn and dusk. When the sun starts to climb in the sky, mercury levels skyrocket and pets are exposed to high levels of risk.

If you must be out and about with your pet in the middle of the day, provide protective booties, lots of breaks in deep shade, and plenty of cool water. Be sure to walk in areas of tree cover, cool grass, instead of hot pavement.

Please don’t overdo any summer activities that can inadvertently threaten your pet’s health and wellness. Opt to stay indoors together until temperatures drop.    

A Case of the Uh-Oh’s

It’s not uncommon for sensitive paws to get injured during a run or hike. Please let the Pet Experts know if you notice any of the following:

  • Limping
  • Blisters
  • Redness
  • Abrasions or cuts
  • Bleeding
  • Skin peeling
  • Excessive paw licking
  • Painful when paws are touched

Treating the Ouchies

Please be careful when handling or approaching an injured pet. They can react aggressively and may snarl, growl, or try to bite you.

Soak their feet in cool water or apply cool compresses to the feet to offer some relief. Paw balm or wax can help with redness or irritation, but bleeding, blisters, cracks, and more require extra care. Thorough cleaning and dressing are essential to the healing process. Pain relief medication and even antibiotics may be necessary.

Safe Than Sorry

If you have additional questions about summer paw care, we hope you’ll contact us. We’re always here for you at Elmhurst Animal Care Center!