Many owners like taking their Golden Retrievers on walks to enjoy the warm summer weather with them. But unfortunately many forget about one important detail ---- hot pavement can and will burn a dog's paws. It can be tempting to take your Golden everywhere you go, but it can cause serious harm to your dog as well if you are not careful.
Remember that if asphalt and cement can get hot enough to cook an egg during the summer ---- or if it feels way too hot for you to leave your hands comfortably on the ground for at least 5 seconds ---- it can result in nasty burns on your dog's paw pads. This is especially true if you have a new puppy with tender young paws.
What can be done to protect your dog's paws? Here are some tips to keep your Golden from getting burned during the summer months.
Walk Your Dog When It's Cool ---- This is probably an obvious tip but one that folks sometimes don't consider enough. It's a great idea to take your dog out on daily walks, but be mindful of when and where you walk him. The best time to walk your dog is in the morning or late evening, when the pavement is cool. Avoid walking your dog in the afternoon when the sun is high in the sky or early evening because the pavement will still be very hot.
Toughen Your Dog's Paws ---- When it is time to walk your dog, it can actually be a good idea to stick to the pavement during the cool times of the day. While the pavement is cool, it won't burn your dog's paws, and it will also help to toughen them up. This will help to prevent any potential burns that could come later on.
Stay On The Grass ---- If you end up taking your dog out during the warmer times of the day, be sure to stay on the grass and stick to shady areas. Stay away from sidewalks or any paved areas to avoid burning. A shady park can be a great place to take your dog on a warm afternoon.
Moisturize Your Dog's Paws ---- Consider moisturizing your dog's feet daily to help prevent injuries like cuts, cracking, or peeling of the paws. Minor injuries like this can make your dog's paws more susceptible to burns and other serious problems. Moisturizing paw pad creams can work wonders.
Use Paw Wax ---- Paw wax can easily be smeared onto your dog's paw pads to protect them from harmful surfaces. Paw wax is designed to protect your dog's feet from hot surfaces and potentially harmful chemicals like road salts. It's a great solution for anytime your dog needs some extra paw protection.
Try Dog Shoes ---- Dog shoes are one of the best ways to protect your dog's paws from heat and potential injuries if your dog will wear them. Be aware that not all dogs can get used to dog shoes and some might have a hard time walking in them. There will definitely be an adjustment period for your dog with dog shoes. If you can get your dog used to using them, nothing else offers better protection.
Consider Disposable Dog Booties ---- Disposable dog booties are a great short-term fix for the summer heat. Dog booties can provide good protection from the heat and are a great temporary solution if you need to take your dog out on a hot day and your dog is willing to wear them.
Be sure to check your dog's paw pads daily for any signs of damage and wash his paws frequently. If you do happen to see a problem or if your dog is acting strangely on his feet, be sure to have him taken to the vet immediately to check for possible injury.
It's been a particularly hot summer this year, so please continue to be mindful when taking your four-legged best friends out for that daily walk.
Do you have any home remedy ideas that you've used in the past for hurt or sensitive paws? Anything you've done for your Golden Retriever that has helped him "get back on his feet"? Please share your stories with us at GRRA. We'd love to hear from you. Here's to Golden Health, everyone!