Dog Feet Protection from Hot Surfaces

Dog feet pads have thick, strong skin intended to protect your dog's feet from injury. That doesn't mean your dog's feet are invulnerable, however. Dogs are particularly vulnerable to foot pad burns, especially when walking across hot surfaces in the summer. Here's what you should know about protecting your dog from foot pad burns.

Some Surfaces Can Get Hot Enough to Burn Your Dog's Feet

In the summer, many outdoor surfaces can get hot enough to burn your dog's feet. Asphalt, concrete, paving stones and sand can all get very hot during the summer. Metal grates and manhole covers can also heat up enough to burn your dog's foot pads.

Symptoms of Foot Pad Burns in Dogs

Many owners don't notice burned foot pads until the dog shows signs of injury. Symptoms may not appear right away, but can occur several hours after your dog burns his foot pads. He may refuse to stand or walk, or may limp. His foot pads may have changed in color and become darker; they may be inflamed, raw or blistered; your dog may lick or chew at his injured feet obsessively.

If your dog suffers foot pad injury, remove him from the hot surface if he is still on it. Bathe the feet in cold water or apply an ice pack. See your vet to acquire topical medication and to monitor the burns for infection. Keep your dog's burns as clean as possible so they don't get infected, and keep your dog from licking, biting or chewing his feet with an Elizabethan collar, booties or bandages.

Preventing Foot Pad Burns in Dogs

The best way to prevent foot pad burns is to buy your dog footwear. Dog boots or shoes are a popular way to protect dog feet from burns even during the hottest part of a summer day. Choose a shoe with a hard rubber sole, a tall upper and Velcro straps. These features offer your dog the most protection from heat (as well as glass and debris) and will be easiest to keep on his feet.

Disposable dog boots can also protect dog feet from burns. These boots are made of neoprene and are intended for one time use. They're easier to put on your dog than dog boots, and they generally stay on more easily. You can also try Paw Pads, which use adhesive to fasten felt pads to your dog's feet pads. These felt pads can protect your dog's feet from burns and they also give him some traction on slippery surfaces.

If dog boots or paw pads aren't an option for you, you could try a product known as Musher's Secret. It's a paw pad wax that can protect your dog's feet from burns as well as chemicals, like those found in road salt. Otherwise, walk your dog early in the morning or in the evening, when it's coolest, and try to keep him on cooler, grassy surfaces.