Proper Dog Paw Care During the Summer June 20 2022
Proper care of your dog's paws can ensure they stay soft and pain free. Just like human feet, paws get a lot of beating. From freezing pavement and burning snow melt, to frying hot asphalt and burns, dogs depend on you as their owner to help care for their paws and keep them safe in all the elements. Part 2 of this blog post is all about proper paw care during the Summer.
The summer months not only bring out the sun and heat, but also bugs, allergies, and injuries to a dogs paws and toes more often than in the winter months. Being aware of what your dog is stepping on, running through, and swimming in will help you keep their paws in tip top shape throughout the warm months.
Summer = High Temps. The sun can heat up pavement almost 50 degrees more than what the air temperature is reading! The Carolinas Animal Hospital says to place your hand on the ground you will be walking your dog on for 7 seconds. If it feels too hot and its burning your hand, then it is too hot for your dogs paws. A dogs paws can burn and cause extreme injury. Look at this photo of a dogs paws in Florida where the air temp was reading 80 degrees out, but the pavement/asphalt was more like 130 degrees. An egg can fry in five minutes at 130 degrees... basically this dogs paws did as well.
It is extremely important to take proper precautions when taking your dog out for a walk in temperatures like this. Here are our tips:
1) Don't overdo it. Any age dog needs limited exposure to hot pavement and asphalt. Not only because of burning potential, but also because cuts, raw pads, soreness, and infection can occur. If you are going to be outside for awhile and won't be able to keep your dog off of the heated ground, consider getting booties for them to walk in. You can purchase ones designed more for the summer weather and terrain versus the winter. This is a nice article on the Best Summer Shoes for Dogs to give you some ideas.
2) Groom the Paws on a regular basis. This means keeping the fur trimmed short between the toes and pads and cutting the nails to a desirable length. Dogs with long fur on their paws easily "collect" things from outside and if their paws aren't taken care of when coming inside, the debris can cause irritation to the toes and even lead to infection. Long fur can also retain moisture so that wet fur can allow bacteria and yeast to grow. As for the toenails, a dogs nails grow at different speeds. Some dogs have naturally long nails and quicks and other dogs have short. Walking helps nails stay short, but they need to be inspected and trimmed on a regular basis. Too long of nails cause the toes to spread outward when walking and can create a lot of pressure. This can also lead to the nail breaking which is not only painful, but can allow for bacteria to enter and cause infection. Our Nail Oil works great at healing chipped, split, or cracked toe nails. It can also be used as a moisturizer to the nails and toes.
3) Wipe down the Paws. Some people might only think to do this if their dog is prone to allergies or has long fur in between their toes, but all dogs can benefit from having their paws wiped down after being outside. Wiping them off or cleaning them in a cup of warm water, will help reduce bacteria on the pads and toes, cut down on debris carried inside, help soothe from bug bites, and make grooming easier.
5) Use Products Designed for Paws. Using the right products on your dogs paws will ensure you are preparing them for daily use. Check out our Paw Cream and Hot Spot/Wound Spray to help soothe and heal dry cracked paw pads, help heal up cuts and scrapes, and moisturize. Both are safe to lick and use on sensitive dogs or dogs with allergies. If your dog has issues with bugs infesting their paws or you are finding bug bites along your dogs toes, we offer a Bug Repellent Spray to help ward off insects while being outside, but also help heal up any existing bites. All of these products can be used before or after going outside and having fun.
Having the proper products, tools, and knowledge on hand before the warm months hit can help you and your dog enjoy the weather outside and partake in outdoor activities in a safe, effective way. Happy Summer!