It’s December and summer is in full swing! As responsible pet parents, this means that we should pay even closer attention to our pet’s needs. Of course we need to ensure that they have enough water at all times and also have shade where they can relax. Paw pad burns are something which is very often overlooked but can cause severe pain and distress to your pet. It is thus vital to look out for paw pad burns on your pet when they are left outside or after they have been taken for a walk.
During peak summer, keep your pet’s walk as short as possible unless you are walking your dog in the early morning when it’s still cool, say before 09h00 and again, after 19h00 in the evening. This will ensure that your dog will firstly not overheat and suffer sun stroke, but will also ensure that his paws are fully protected!! We all know how hot it can be and how when we kick off our flip flops our feet burns and we can hardly walk on a hot pavement, now imagine that this is what a dog is faced with each time he has to go for a walk when it is super hot outdoors!! Whereever possible, during peak summer when the temperature gets to 30 degrees and more, try to keep your dog indoors, only letting him out for a toilet break!! Our pets can also suffer heat stroke which can be life threatening.
Please also make sure that after your braai that hot coals are not left accessible for your pet to accidentally walk on. Fire and chemical burns also account for a lot of dog paw pad injuries and this is something which can so easily be avoided!! We all know how awful it is when we have a blister on our foot, for a dog this must be excruciating to have his paw pads burnt and then to have to walk on blisters as well!! If the blister ruptures this can also cause infection on your pets’ paw which is extremely painful for your pet. Should your pet have a paw pad burn or develop a blister, please take your dog to your nearest vet as soon as possible. The paw will most likely be bandaged and the dog will need to rest and of course, avoid hot surfaces.
To avoid these burns from happening, your dog should be getting them stronger throughout the year. To help do this you need to walk your dog on hard concrete surfaces throughout the rest of the year.