Hot Pavement Awareness: Protecting Your Pet’s Paws During Nashville’s Summers

Dog jumping into water.

Tennessee summers can get pretty toasty, so it’s important to provide extra protection for your pet’s paws when encountering hot surfaces like sidewalks, pool decks, and pavement. 

Without a doubt, your pet’s furry feet deserve plenty of pampering year-round, but special precautions are needed when the mercury rises. At Harpeth Hills Animal Hospital, we want you and your pets to enjoy a summer filled with plenty of time outdoors, so we’ve compiled some of our favorite summer paw care tips

Perform the Touch Test

People have the benefit of wearing sneakers and sandals, but our pets rely on us to protect their paws from dangerously hot surfaces. Before walking your dog outdoors, do a quick touch test with the back of your hand. Can you hold it comfortably on your driveway or sidewalk for 7 seconds? If not, the surface is too hot and could injure your pet’s paws. 

Timing is Everything

Keeping pets active is important for their physical and mental health, so staying sedentary in the summer is a no-go. If there’s no relief from the heat in sight, walk your dog earlier in the morning or later in the evening.

The Grass is Always Greener—and Cooler

We can’t control when nature calls, so when your dog has to “do his business” in the heat of the day, stick to grassy (and preferably shaded) areas. And when your dog needs to burn off excess energy, choose a grassy dog park with mature shade trees.

If the Shoe Fits … It Will Protect Your Pet’s Paws

Dog shoes and booties are summer paw care must-haves for those times when avoiding hot surfaces isn’t possible or practical. Pet shoes not only protect paws from the heat, but also they offer protection against pollen allergies and lawn chemicals, and boost traction for senior pets.  

Paw wax is another option that offers some protection against hot surfaces and also inhibits the absorption of fertilizers and other lawn chemicals. 

Feline Feet Need Summer Paw Care, Too

Decks, patios, and catios can heat up quickly in the summer sun, so if you have a feline who enjoys sunbathing sessions outdoors, be sure to protect her paws, too. Take the same precautions explained above, and consider adding light-colored rugs so she can relax comfortably in her favorite sunny spot.

Other Summer Pet Safety Tips

Always make sure your pet has a shady area to go to, and provide plenty of clean water. Inspect your pet’s paws after an outdoor adventure, and check for signs of burns or cuts. Also pay close attention to how your pet walks. If you notice any limping, or if your pet is reluctant to walk, she might have some minor burns. Contact your veterinarian immediately for further instructions. 

Keeping Paws and Pets Healthy All Year Long

Need more summer pet safety tips, or is it time for your pet’s checkup? Contact our caring team at (615) 646-7387.