Summer Paw Care For Hot Pavement and Exercise Outside

Owner checking dog's paw on the beach

How to Keep Your Pets Safe This Summer

Your cat or dog probably enjoys the beautiful summer weather just as much as you do. Unfortunately, your pet's chance of developing a heat-related illness or injury rises with the temperature. Whether your furry friend enjoys romps in the park with you or never ventures beyond your backyard, these tips can help him or her stay safe this summer.

Limit Outdoor Time on Hot, Humid Days

Heat and humidity levels affect your pet's health and comfort. While some animals tolerate heat and humidity fairly well, others can quickly become overheated. Reduce the risk of heatstroke by restricting outdoor play time to the cooler morning or evening hours.

If there's an excessive heat warning for your area, don't let your pet spend hours outside in the hot sun. Your dog or cat will be much comfortable indoors where heat and humidity can be controlled by air-conditioning and fans.

When your pet does spend time outdoors, provide plenty of fresh, cool water and a shady, well-ventilated resting place. Dog houses may offer shade, but they trap the heat and quickly become uncomfortably hot.

Puppies, kittens, older pets, pets with health conditions, or pets that have short muzzles might be more affected by heat and humidity and may experience heat exhaustion or heatstroke symptoms sooner than other pets.

Monitor your pet carefully for signs of heatstroke. They include:

  • Heavy Panting
  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Dry Nose
  • Sunken Eyes
  • Lack of Coordination
  • Change in Tongue Color
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting or Diarrhea

Bring your pet inside immediately if you notice these symptoms. Use a washcloth soaked in cool, not cold, water to ease heatstroke symptoms, and call your pet's veterinarian immediately.

Protect Your Pet's Paws

Concrete, sand, asphalt, wood, and metal surfaces become unbearably hot after just a few hours of direct sun exposure. If you wouldn't walk barefoot on these surfaces, your pet shouldn't either.

A few years ago, the Kansas City Star conducted a test to check the temperatures of various surfaces on a hot day. The infrared thermometer they used registered an uncomfortably high 144.6 degrees Fahrenheit on the newspaper's asphalt parking lot.

At these temperatures, burns to the paw pads can occur after just a few seconds. If your dog or cat normally spends time outdoors on potentially hot surfaces, avoid middle-of-the-day walks or outdoor play sessions.

The surfaces will likely be much cooler early in the morning or in the evening. Your pet may find it more comfortable to walk on grassy areas when paved or wooden walkways become too hot.

Follow Car Safety Recommendations

Does your dog look forward to car rides to the local dog park? Door handles, dashboards and even seatbelts can also burn your pet. Seatbelt buckles registered temperatures of 130 degrees during the Kansas City Star's examination of summer temperature hazards. Prevent burns by turning on the air-conditioning a few minutes before you plan to leave, and place a blanket over seats and seatbelt buckles.

Never leave your pet in a car, even with the windows open. On a 70-degree day, temperatures inside a vehicle can increase to 89 degrees after 10 minutes and soar to 104 degrees after 30 minutes, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. When the outside temperature is 80, those figures increase to 104 degrees after 10 minutes and 119 after 30 minutes.

Examine Your Pet's Paws After Trips Outside

Paw pad inspections are a must after your cat or dog has been outside during the summer. Look for burns or cuts on the surface of the paw pads, then check for small sticks and stones, debris, thorns, or small pieces of glass that may be trapped between your pet's toes.

Use Paw Protectors

Paw protectors help your pet avoid burns and cuts and offer a little extra cushioning and traction. Some protectors attach to pads with adhesive, while others slide over the feet and are held in place with straps.

It may take a little while for your pet to get used to wearing protectors. If you choose products that fit like boots or socks, help your pet adjust to the footwear by increasing wear time gradually.

Do you have a question or concern about your pet's health? Contact our office and let us know how we can help.

Sources:

Kansas City Star: How Hot Is That Surface? We Measured Pavement, Steering Wheels, Slides and More, 7/21/17

American Veterinary Medical Association: Estimated Vehicle Interior Air Temperature v. Elapsed Time

WebMD: Top 10 Paw Care Tips for Dogs

Pet Life Today: The Best Dog Paw Protectors (2020 Reviews), 2/4/20

Cattime.com: 5 Ways to Keep Your Outdoor Cat’s Paws Safe from Hot Pavement

Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Tacoma Office

Monday:

9:00 am-12:00 pm

1:00 pm-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

9:00 am-12:00 pm

1:00 pm-5:00 pm

Wednesday:

9:00 am-12:00 pm

1:00 pm-5:00 pm

Thursday:

9:00 am-12:00 pm

1:00 pm-5:00 pm

Friday:

9:00 am-12:00 pm

1:00 pm-5:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

  • "Unfortunately had to put down my 15 year old cat. Jones animal staff is compassionate and honest when you need them to be most. Every time in you can see the passion everyone there has for every pet they see. I know who I can trust when i get a puppy soon. Thank you for the care and making the best of a tough situation."
    Justin S.
  • "Friendly Drs and staff fancy coffee for while you wait!"
    Tom D.
  • "Love goes they care for my boys and are so helpful!!"
    Trisha C.
  • "The staff is wonderful, just a pleasure to work with"
    Tonja P.
  • "We used to see another Veterinarian, however, when our dog was sick we couldn't get an appointment for a couple of weeks. My daughter recommended Jones Animal Hospital, and I called. I was able to get our dog in the same day. When we met with Dr. Jones, he answered all of my questions completely without rushing me at all. We have been treated promptly, with friendly respect by the entire staff each time we visit. The medical care has been knowledgeable and helpful. The fees are extremely reasonable, too. We have found our animals' home for medical care!"
    Dori O.
  • "The people here are so nice and are very concerned for the animals they treat. Prices are the most reasonable I have come across as well. I recently took in one of my young kitties to be spayed, they keep them override which is nice so they can make sure they have they the experience well. The day after I brought her home, they called to check up on her to see how she was doing. I have never had a veterinary office do that before. I would recommend this office to anyone & everyone!!"
    Darlene B.
  • "They always seem to offer great compassionate care. And they were relatively affordable as well."
    Erik N.
  • "They have been taking wonderful care of my pets for many years."
    Corey D.
  • "I never take my fur babies anywhere else! I know I can trust the staff here & I know they CARE about the animals & their companions. Dr. Jones did retire, but the remaining staff is like family to me. They never charged more than I could afford because they always run the options by me first. I recently had to say goodbye to my 20 year old cat - It was inevitable but VERY painful. Even though they were very busy & they had to squeeze us in that day, they still offered to have one of the staff members sit with me as I said goodbye. I don't know anywhere else that gives that level of comfort!"
    Danielle P.
  • "We love our vet! Been using this vet for over 15 years. NO complaints!"
    Karen S.