By Nan Talleno
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Walking on certain terrains in the extreme heat of summer may be putting your dog at risk.
Severe injury, infection and burns to the pads of your dog’s paws could develop quickly by allowing your dog to walk on hot concrete, tar-coated asphalt, hot pavement, metal or hot sand.
Never force your dog to walk in these areas. Take your dog to a grassy area or carry your dog to a cooler area.
Paw pad burns and injuries may be overlooked since we cannot see them at first glance but it’s imperative to keep your dog off of these types of hot surfaces and to be extremely observant if your dog is limping or refuses to walk. Other signs of pad burn or injury include licking or chewing at the paws, pads become darker in color, blistering, swelling, redness or abrasions.
There are also creams you can use before or after a walk, check with your vet.
Keep the paw area cool and clean by flushing with cool water or a cool compress. Your vet should check for infection and to see if antibiotics or pain medication is needed.
Walk your dog only on grass whenever possible. Walk on the shady side of the street. Walk earlier in the morning or in the evening to avoid the excessive heat to hard surfaces. Lay down a cool wet towel for your dog if you need to be in a sunny area.
A good rule of thumb to remember is this: Walk your dog ONLY where you would feel comfortable walking… barefoot.