It’s summer time and the weather is fine – you want to have all the fun in the sun that you can with your favorite pooch. Before you do, make sure you’re looking out for the hazards that can harm your best buddy.

When temperatures rise, it’s our job as owners to protect our furry friends from harm due to the elements. Hot pavement can blister and remove skin from the bottom of your dog’s paws.  Temperatures on the surface of the sidewalk, street, or sand are much higher than the air temperature due to solar radiation.  You should test surfaces by laying the back of your hand against them for 10 seconds. If you can’t hold your hand to hot asphalt, then it’s too hot for your pet’s paws.  Symptoms of burnt paws include reluctance to walk, lethargy, darkened paw pads, licking, and loss of skin. Burns can occur after only sixty seconds of contact, are extremely painful, and can lead to deadly infection.

The easiest and safest way to protect your pet from burnt paws is to exercise them early in the morning or late in the evening, when the temperatures of the street and sidewalk have cooled substantially. You can also walk them on grass, which remains cooler than hard surfaces throughout the day. If you and your dog hike a lot during the summer, or if there isn’t a lot of grass available in your neighborhood, you might even try dog boots. It may take some time for your dog to become accustomed to dog boots, but these puppy shoes are useful to protect paws from hot pavement, sharp foreign objects, and even ice, snow, and chemical ice melt during the winter.

Monitoring your surroundings outside protects your pups from unnecessary pain!