5 ways to protect your pet's paws this summer

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Posted by Dr. Kim Smyth on Jun 03 2015


It’s flip flop and sandal season for us two-legged beasts, and that means keeping our toes in tip top shape. But what about your pup’s precious paws? Hot weather can pose some problems for paws, and with a little foresight, you can avoid an unexpected trip to the vet.

Pet on a hot tin roof

It’s not particularly common, but we do see dogs with paw pad burns from walking on hot concrete or asphalt. We typically see this kind of injury in the early summer. When dogs spend the whole winter indoors, their paw pads lose the thick, calloused texture that ultimately protects them from hot surfaces. The first couple of walks on hot pavement can be brutal on these delicate tissues.

Beach babies

The same thing goes for hot sand, of course, but sand poses another threat as well. If your dog can’t go to the beach without chasing a ball or Frisbee, he’s at risk of developing friction burns on his paw pads as he slides across the sand for the perfect catch. These hurt just as badly as you can imagine.

All torn up

In the warmer months, dogs are usually more active outdoors. Hiking, swimming and other outdoor activities are great for your pet’s waistline, but can be trouble for long toenails. Keep your pet’s nails nice and short to avoid painful torn toenails.

Life’s an itch

Spring and summer grass pollens can make allergic pets just miserable. To keep them itch free, keep their feet free of pollen that they pick up outside. You can store a tub of baby wipes at the door and give your pet’s feet a quick wipe on his way back inside.

Tick tock

Warmer weather means tick season. When you’re checking your pet (daily!) for ticks, don’t forget to check under her feet. The space between her toes and paw pads is a sneaky place for creepy crawlies to attach.

Your pet’s paws are so important—keep them happy and healthy all summer long!