Sunscreen? Check! Hat? Check! Most of us are pretty aware of UV and warm weather dangers that come with summertime outdoors. Like us, our pets are also susceptible to dehydration and heat illnesses, but we often overlook one of the most sensitive areas of concern: their paws.

Sometimes it can be easy to forget that pet paws are subject to injury because they certainly take a lot of wear and tear. We see our pets pounce, leap, and race across surfaces that would have us grasping our feet in pain. However, in actuality, paws are not so tough. In fact, paw pad injuries are quite common.

Protecting those adorable tootsies should be on the list of concerns for every pet owner. Keep reading to learn more about how to protect pet paws this summer.

5 Tips to Protect Pet Paws

  1. Beware of hot surfaces. Many kinds of surfaces absorb heat and can lead to burns when a pet’s paws come into contact with them. An easy way to test whether the ground is too hot is to place a bare hand or foot on the surface. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for those sensitive paws. Wait until a cooler time of day for walks and playtime.
  2. Consider paw protection. For pets who spend a lot of time being active outdoors, proper fitting booties can be a lifesaver. Acclimate your pet to the feel of having them on his or her feet by going on shorter walks at first, since they can seem awkward for some pets.
  3. Take extra care at beaches and lakes. Spending time on the water can be a great way to cool off and socialize with loved ones, including our furry pals. Like concrete and pavement, sand can become a scorcher for feet, so make sure your pet has plenty of shade and stays off the blazing sand. Shorelines can also house a lot of debris, including broken glass and fishing lures. Take care by covering your pet’s feet with booties or simply avoid areas with lots of public use.
  4. Moisturize. The hot temperatures and rough surfaces of summer playtime can take a toll on tootsies. A good option for pet paw care is paw balm, made to provide a protective coating and help prevent dryness, which is a problem for pet paws.
  5. Inspect. By keeping an eye on the condition of your pet’s skin, coat, and paws, you can help catch any signs of injury or dryness, which can cause cracking and bleeding. Plan on inspecting your four-legged’s paws daily or after any time spent outside.

For many of us, summertime means outdoor fun, and our pets love being a part of the action. By taking some safety measures when it comes to hot weather awareness, you and your best pal can enjoy all the activities this season. For more tips on how to protect pet paws, please call your friends at Oak Forest Veterinary Hospital.