Walking dogs in the heatwave: How to protect pets' paws from hot pavements

29 June 2019, 14:52

Save dog walking for early morning or late afternoon.
Save dog walking for early morning or late afternoon. Picture: Getty

With skyrocketing summer temperatures, owners are encouraged to continue walking dogs, but with protective measures.

There are several strategies to protect a dog's delicate paws during a heatwave. It's worth noting that according to animal charity, Blue Cross, if your dog’s skin looks sore, crusty or scaly, call your vet.

Prevention is most important the charity emphasises, keep your dog indoors when the sun is strongest, between 11.00am and 3.00pm.

Pets need help staying cool.
Pets need help staying cool. Picture: Getty

Another tip is if the pavement is too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for a dog's paw pads too.

Dog booties can be bought from pet shops and online. There are a few different styles:

Booties protect dogs from hot pavement.
Booties protect dogs from hot pavement. Picture: Zoomadog.co.uk

Protective booties are often made of neoprene, and other sports performance materials. Pet healthcare retailer Zoomadog says wearing booties also supports rapid healing of paw injuries. 

Puppy booties are available in an array of colours.
Puppy booties are available in an array of colours. Picture: K9active.co.uk

Dog boots can be used for other activities as well. These are advised for long hikes and runs, and also to protect paws against rough surfaces.

Sandal style booties are available.
Sandal style booties are available. Picture: New Chic

A number of different styles, sizes and options are available for protecting pets. And retailers offer assistance with purchasing the right sizes.

Another concern for pet lovers is heatstroke, which dogs can suffer to a fatal degree within minutes, according to Blue Cross.

"Unlike humans, dogs can’t sweat through their skin and so they rely on panting and releasing heat through their paw pads and nose to regulate their body temperature and keep cool.

"Imagine wearing a thick winter coat on a hot summer’s day and you’ll understand why dogs succumb to heatstroke so easily."