I’ve made this sticky for now!
It is HOT! I’ve been seeing a lot of dogs being walked around town despite the heat. Every dog is different, so I’m going to trust the owner to know what their dog can handle. However, lots and lots of people don’t realize how frickin’ hot the pavement is on a summer day. I, too, have been surprised at how hot the ground can get. The sidewalk may be shaded at the moment, but it could’ve been cooking up all day long. It doesn’t have to be black tar, either—sandy stuff and lighter-colored cement gets plenty hot! The safe thing to do is to not guess, and check often: really put down your hand or stand with bare feet. The rule is this: If it’s even a little hot for your hand or feet, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
If you’re already out and about and are caught on a stretch of hot surface, try finding patches of grass or dirt and make your dog walk on that. You’d think they’d just choose cooler surfaces on their own, but not always. MP seems to prefer cement over dirt (despite the heat) and I really have to go out of my way to have her walk on the grassy parts—I go further into the grass (= people’s yards!) myself so she can’t reach the pavement, or I have her “heel” (quotes because she doesn’t know that’s what’s happening) into the grass. If all fails, pick up your damn dog. I’ve had to do that, too. I carried MP “scoop” style, like those warehouse crate mover things. You know, where you stick your extended arms under the arm pit and belly. I am so never getting a dog even an inch or a pound bigger than MP, because she is totally at my carry-able max!
I’ve also heard about people drenching towels and setting it down so that your dog can stand or sit on it. Do be careful after they’re wet, though, because wet paws can burn much worse than dry paws on scorching pavement. Tzzzzzzzzzz! So, really make sure the ground isn’t too hot before trekking away with wet paws after swims and dips in the water.
We all know that some dogs can be unbelievably stoic. They don’t always show you (like my picture) that they’re in pain—until their paws are severely injured. Be proactive and don’t just rely on your pup to tell you that it’s too hot, but definitely watch out for any signs of discomfort.
And, repeat after me, please: If it’s too hot for my hands, it’s too hot for dog paws.
Let’s use common sense, and protect our pets during this super fun season!
Please share my little Summer Pet Safety infographic with all your dog friends! Download it, if you like!