Can your dog’s feet get burned?

by Dr. Kim Smyth

Before you burst out the door with Fido on a hot day, stop to think—is the street too hot for four-legged feet? The answer is, yes, it can be.

Sometimes these injuries can be quite severe, blistering the pads of pets so badly that the outer layer sloughs off. Aside from being excruciatingly painful, the injuries are prone to infection. Luckily, with pain medications and tender loving care, affected feet typically heal in no time.

So, should you avoid sidewalks and asphalt altogether? That would not be practical, but keep in mind that surfaces will be hot. It’s a good idea to avoid mid-day walks, and save them for early morning and later in the evening, when surfaces are cooler. Also, walk in grass if it is necessary to walk during the hottest part of the day. Consider using a topical product to toughen up pads late in winter in preparation for pavement. Finally, you can invest in a pair of booties which work well in winter, too.

It is unlikely that you have to worry about this all summer. Your pet’s pads will toughen up naturally with walking in summer, decreasing the risk of burns as the summer progresses. Also keep in mind that every pet is different—what bothers some rolls right off the back of others! You know your pet best, so go with your gut.

About the Author:
Dr. Kim Smyth is a staff Veterinarian and Pet Health Writer of Petplan. See more great articles at