Dog Lifestyle, Pet Health, Pets and Family

Protect Your Dog’s Paws on Hot Pavement and Other Hard Surfaces in Summer Sun

dog laying on tile

You may have heard that cities like Phoenix are going to start mandating lighter colored hard surfaces due to the need to reduce ambient temperature. Cities are known to be hotter due to the increase in temps caused by reduced vegetation and hot hard surfaces like hot pavement.

This same hot pavement and other hard surfaces can be dangerous for dogs due not only to the fact that dog’s paws can burn but also due to the fact that dogs regulate heat through their paws and hot pavement and high air temperature on a hot day can interfere with a dogs ability to regulate their temperature.  Which is why you need to protect your dog’s paws on hot pavement and other hard surfaces when the sun is shining.

How Do Dogs Regulate Heat?

Dog’s regulate heat like people by using their bodies to remove heat but unlike people a dog uses its paw pads to remove heat.  A dog’s paw pads have sweat glands that rid their bodies of heat along with the heat loss that occurs through their skin.

You may have noticed that your dog loves to lie on a cool tile floor or any cold surface, transference, the transfer of cold from a cold surface is another way that dogs can cool down.  In our recent Summer Dog Days Contest we gave away a cool pet pad since transference is such an effective way to reduce pet overheating.

dog laying on tile

Dog’s may cool down with transference by laying on a cool surface.

 

Do All Dogs Manage Heat Stress the Same?

No, dogs of different ages, colors, and breeds manage heat stress quite differently. For instance, senior dogs have a far more difficult time regulating heat along with flat faced dogs.

As we discuss in 11 Ways to Keep Your Dog Cool this Summer, flat faced dogs have more difficulty bringing air into their bodies to cool off. Additionally, black dogs have a more difficult time cooling off.

 

What Are the Hottest Hard Surfaces for Dogs?

Most hard surfaces when exposed to the sun will become hot and uncomfortable for dogs but certain hard surfaces that a dog may sit, walk or stand on will be far more hot than others with sun exposure and cause injury to a dog’s paws pads and their health.

From testing hard and hot surfaces, some of which a dog would come into contact with the most the following are hard surfaces that are the hottest for a dog. As expected composite decking and hot asphalt or dark concrete win over all else but there are some surprises like compacted soil. I would not have thought it could get as hot as it was shown to do with the testing.

Hot surface infographic

Things that affected the how hot a hard surface got was of course proximity to shade, water, and vegetation. When vegetation is near the hard surface or of course, shade the temperature dropped considerably.

The testers I consulted did not test artificial grass but I have found that artificial grass is very hot and not only that as it gets hotter it also seems to produce an off gassing as well that simply cannot be healthy for any pup.

If you are in the summer heat consider these surfaces and the best time to be in the heat to help your pup on a warm day.

How to Protect Dog’s Feet From Pavement Heat and Heat From Other Hard Surfaces

Now that we know that hard surfaces can become hot very quickly and be dangerous to dogs lets learn the best ways for testing and protecting our dogs in the summer months.

First, test the surface for your dog first. You can test the surface by placing the back of your hand on the hard surface for at least 30 seconds. The back of your hand is preferable to the palm of your hand since the back of your hand is more sensitive.

Testing hot surface with hand

Test any hot surface with the back of your hand

Protect your dog’s paws from heat from pavement and other hard surfaces with the following strategies:

Take walks and go on outings in the late evening or early morning.

Use paw wax or paw balms like this here to protect your pup’s paws.

Wear cute dog shoes or dog booties to protect dog’s feet from hot surfaces (see our article on 7 Summer Dog Accessories You Need Now

Stay on soft surfaces like natural grass preferably that is near water and avoid hard and rough surfaces

Remember dry grass can get very hot, cool natural green grass is best for keeping paws cool.

Find shady areas or vegetation that will shade the hard surface.

Keep pets hydrated, pets have sweat glands in their feet. Hot surfaces can cause overheating. (See 11 Tips to Keep Your Dog Cool This Summer)

Dog on a park bench

Be careful of surfaces that may get hot other than pavement that dogs walk on

Pay attention to hot hot surfaces like those at outdoor events but also in your car, on a park bench and more. It is not only pavement temperature that should concern dog owners.

Wet surfaces.  Our composite deck gets way to hot for humans and dogs a like a quick spray can bring down the temperature significantly.

What To Do If Your Pet’s Paws Get Injured from a Hot Surface

If your pet’s paws do get injured you may have to seek veterinary care depending on the severity of the burn but there are several things you can do to make your dog comfortable and heal dog paw pads.

 

Give your dog something to manage pain, a conventional pain medication may be good but something like Relieve Plus Hemp CBD Spray will reduce inflammation and give your pup some relief. Also, apply paw balm to help healing preferably with aloe vera or some other softener and reliever in it.

Best Dog Boots for Hot Pavement

Dog shoes or dog boots are clearly the winner to protect your pup’s paws from hot ground on hot summer days and in hot weather anytime of year. Your furry friend needs some protection and can always benefit from a little style. Many dog booties are made to be durable or for cold weather but there are some that are being developed for more summer fun. Here are some suggestions for dog paw heat protection.

Handmade Neoprene Dog Booties

neoprene dog bootiesThese Handmade Dog Botties from Etsy are Perfect for Some Beach Fun. These handmade dog booties are great for summer fun and the beach. They are water booties so will be durable enough to protect your dog on on the sand and stay on when they play in the water.

Wag Wellies

Dog booties for summer blue and with holesThese handy dog booties will protect and not get dogs feet too hot in the process with ingenious holes similar to Native shoes so your pup can stay cool and his dog paws can be protected. The rubber soles provide great protection while the air circulation will be welcome to any pup on a hot day.

$49.00 and available in a variety of colors.

Find more tips for dog summer fun accessories in our our article Summer Dog Accessories You Need Now.

 

Conclusion.

Keep your dog cool and their paw pads healthy by protecting their paws and paying attention to how hot pavement and other hard surfaces get.

 

You may also want to stay cool with a doggie ice cream see our post on Can I Share My Ice Cream with My Dog for More Tips

More Dog Safety Tips in Our Article Pet Fire Safety Tips