WESTERN TREASURE VALLEY — For pet parents, summer can be a fun time to enjoy the warmer temperatures and sunshine, however, the urban outdoors can be troublesome for canines.
Going for a walk is a great way for both dog and owner to get some exercise, but unlike their human counterparts, dogs typically do not wear shoes. With their pads exposed, dogs’ feet are more vulnerable to surfaces like concrete, which can become very hot during the summer months. Sidewalks are some of the hottest surfaces a dog can come into contact with when temperatures reach their peak for the day.
Being mindful of how much time a dog spends walking on pavement, concrete, asphalt, metal or any other surface that retains heat is important. Having natural grass surfaces nearby for dogs to have a safer, cooler place to walk is ideal for maintaining the overall health of their paws.
Code Enforcement Officer Dallas Brockett advises dog owners with this, “[The] best precaution people can do is to leave their animals at home during hot weather, or to avoid certain types of surfaces.”
He also provided a link to a website, www.vets-now.com, that discusses in detail what happens to a dog’s paws when the hot weather causes the roads to actually melt and burn the bottoms of their paws.
The website also describes how a dog’s paws can have the same level of sensitivity as a human foot. This is something to be aware of if a pet owner does decide to take their furry friend out for a walk. The vets-now website suggests for the owner to place the back of their hand down on the surface to test how hot it is before allowing a dog to walk across it. If the heat is too much for a hand, it’s too much for a dog.