A closeup photo of white and brown dog with its paw up

Things that are hotter than your city’s scorching temperatures this summer: The Sun and the pavement you’ve been walking your dog on. It’s true. Research suggests that asphalt temperatures run around 40-60 degrees hotter than the surrounding air, making it almost impossible to walk around barefoot. Thank God for whoever invented footwear, right?

Right. But while you have it easy, safe from the summer with a dab of sunscreen and a strapped-up shoe, what does a hot pavement mean for your dog? It means that your dog isn’t endowed with some superpower that protects their paws from the ground heat, skin damage is a possibility, and what you think is a nice, stimulating walk in the summer can feel like walking on a hot plate for your dog.

What this also means is that you need to step up your dog owner game and take all the steps necessary to protect your dog’s (sensitive) paws from this summer heat. Get started with these tips!

1. Avoid Walking Your Dog During the Hottest times of the Day

A white Labrador walking on a pavement

The pavement can get extremely hot during the summer months, which can be dangerous for your dog's paws. Walking your dog during the hottest times of the day can lead to burns and blisters on their paws. To avoid this, try to schedule your walks during the cooler parts of the day, such as early in the morning or later in the evening.

2. Consider Using Paw Wax

Paw wax is a great way to protect your dog's paws from the hot pavement. The wax creates a barrier between their paws and the ground, helping to prevent burns and blisters. Simply apply the wax to your dog's paws before going for a walk.

3. Invest in Dog Boots

Dog boots are a great investment for protecting your dog's paws during the summer months. They provide a layer of protection between your dog's paws and the ground, which can help prevent burns and blisters. Make sure to choose boots that fit your dog properly and are comfortable for them to wear.

4. Keep Your Dog's Nails Trimmed

Keeping your dog's nails trimmed is important for their overall paw health. Long nails can make it difficult for your dog to walk, which can lead to discomfort and even injury. Make sure to trim your dog's nails regularly to keep them at a healthy length.

5. Check Your Dog's Paws Regularly for Injuries

It's important to check your dog's paws regularly for injuries, such as cuts or scrapes. If you notice any injuries, make sure to clean them thoroughly and keep an eye on them to ensure they heal properly.

6. Use Pet-Friendly Sunscreen

Just like humans, dogs can get sunburned too. This is especially true for dogs with light-colored fur or short hair. To protect your dog's paw pads from the sun, apply pet-friendly sunscreen to their paws before going outside.

7. Provide Shade and Water

Make sure to provide plenty of shade and water for your dog during the hot summer months. This will help keep them cool and prevent their paws from becoming dry and cracked.

8. Consider Swimming as an Alternative to Walking

Swimming is a great alternative to walking during the summer months. Not only does it provide a fun way for your dog to cool off, but it also gives their paws a break from the hot pavement. Make sure to supervise your dog while they're swimming and provide them with a life jacket if needed.

Protecting your dog's paws is essential to ensuring their overall health and well-being during the hot summer months. By following these eight tips, you can help keep your furry friend's paws safe and healthy all summer long.