When taking your furry friend for a walk in West Vancouver during the summer, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. While the warm weather may be tempting to get outside, it’s important to check the temperature before heading out. Even if it’s a breezy day with temperatures around 25C, keep in mind that hot pavement and sand can be uncomfortable for your pet.
Dogs, in particular, have sensitive paw pads that can become vulnerable in the heat. Surfaces like pavement, asphalt, and artificial turf can become extremely hot and cause blisters or burns on their paws. Walking on hot pavement or spending too much time in warm weather can raise your dog’s overall body temperature and lead to heat stroke. It’s important to take precautions to keep your pet safe and comfortable during summer walks in West Vancouver.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when taking your furry friend for a walk:
- Check the pavement before you go. Place your paw on the pavement for five seconds. If it’s too hot for your paw, then it’s likely too hot for your dog’s paws too.
- Take walks during cooler times of the day. Avoid taking walks during the hottest time of the day. Instead, opt for walks in the early morning and late evening when the pavement is cooler.
- Keep midday walks short. If you’re taking your dog out during the day, keep the walks short. If you’re planning a longer adventure, bring water and take frequent breaks.
- Avoid walking on hard surfaces and stick to the grass. Pavement and roads can be tough on your dog’s joints, and they can also be too hot for your dog’s paws. If possible, stick to grass, dirt, or a softer terrain, but watch out for uneven surfaces or any other hazards like rocks and holes.
- Choose a shady and cool route. You don’t want your dog to become overheated, so it’s important to choose a cool and shady route. A run along a lake or pond is also a great idea, as it’s the perfect place for your dog to take a dip after the run.
Paws and Pavement
Vancouver’s gloomy days swap pretty quickly to scorching Summer days. it’s important to take steps to protect your furry friend’s paws from the hot pavement. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Moisturize their paws. Regularly moisturizing your dog’s feet can help prevent injuries like cuts, cracking, or peeling of the paws, which can make your dog’s paws more susceptible to burns. Use a pet-friendly and veterinarian-approved lotion or a paw wax.
- Use dog shoes or booties. Dog shoes or booties are one of the best ways to protect your dog’s paws from heat and potential injuries. If your dog is willing to wear them, look for ones with a rubber sole, as they offer the best protection. However, be aware that some dogs may need time to adjust to wearing them.
- Peel and stick felt pads. These can also help protect against potential burns and injuries from hot pavement. They’re thin and flexible, making them easier to put on your pet’s paws than booties, and your pet may not even feel them. They can also reduce the risk of slipping on slick surfaces.
- Always check your pet’s paws. Routinely checking your pet’s paws, especially after a walk, and washing them frequently can help prevent potential infections. This is especially important if you notice any signs of redness, swelling, or discomfort.
Dogs and Heatstroke
With the specter of heat domes hitting BC, it’s important to keep an eye on your furry friend’s well-being when walking them during the summer. Here are some tips to help prevent heat exhaustion and dehydration:
- Slow down and take breaks. If your dog is lagging behind, they may be tired and need a break. Slow down to their pace and find a shady spot to rest and provide them with water. If they don’t seem to recover after a few minutes, consider calling it a day and heading back home.
- Watch for signs of dehydration and heatstroke. If your dog is warm to the touch, drooling excessively, and/or vomiting, these are strong indicators of dehydration and possibly heatstroke. Provide them with water and a shady spot to rest immediately. If their symptoms persist or worsen, contact your veterinarian as it could be a medical emergency.
- Be proactive with hydration. Encourage your dog to drink water before, during, and after walks. Consider bringing along a collapsible water bowl and a bottle of water. You can also freeze some water in a container overnight to provide your furry friend with some cool water during their walk.
- Choose the right time to walk. Avoid walking during the hottest time of the day and opt for early morning or late evening walks when temperatures are cooler. Be aware of the temperature and adjust your walking routine accordingly to keep your dog safe and healthy.
Checking To See If Your Dog’s Paw Pads Are Burned
- Your pet is showing signs of discomfort or pain, such as limping, vocalizing, or licking/chewing at their feet. If your pet is not willing to walk, it could also be an indication of paw pad burns.
- The color of the paw pads has changed from pink to red or a darker shade.
- The paw pads appear visibly damaged with blisters, ruptured blisters, redness, or even missing pieces. These are all signs that your pet’s paw pads may have been burned. It’s important to seek veterinary care for your pet’s injuries as soon as possible.
First Aid For Paws
- Get your dog to a cool and safe place indoors. If needed, carry them gently to avoid putting pressure on their paws.
- Use cold water to flush the affected foot, or apply a cold compress to help reduce the pain and swelling.
- Bring water to them so they don’t need to trek for a drink.
- Make sure your dog doesn’t lick the burned paw to prevent further damage or infection.
- Contact your veterinarian for advice on how to treat the burn and help your dog recover.