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Palm Coast Monday, Jul. 10, 2017 1 year ago

“Barefootin” in the summer hurts

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How hot is the surface your dog is walking on?
by: Jacque Estes Community Editor

When I saw the postal truck pull away from my mailbox last week I decided to dash out to get the mail.

Less than halfway down the driveway my “dash” turned into an all-out, high-stepping run, and those of you that know me, know I don’t run.

This uncharacteristic exercise was motivated by the fact that I was burning my feet on the pavement. I was surprised at how hot my white driveway actually was.

A little while later I watched as a neighbor walked her golden retriever down the asphalt street and noticed the dog was keeping those four paws moving up and down rapidly and felt his pain.

Exercising dogs is great for us and for them, but there is a time and place and during the summer; afternoon on streets, sidewalks or the beach is not the time or place.

It can seem “cool” to us, thanks to a breeze off the ocean, but sun heats up non-grass surfaces pretty quickly.

There are a couple of remedies for this. Drive down to a local park with shaded paths to walk, or walk before 8 a.m. or after  6 p.m. Always check the pavement’s temperature with the back of your hand or slip off your shoes and see how it feels. If you start hopping around you have your answer.

If your dog starts licking his paws after being outside check them for foreign objects like glass or sand spurs. It is important to check between their toes too. If their pads seem warm, apply a cool washcloth to each to help relieve the burning sensation.

If your pup is like Kodi, he is not going to want his paws touched, but when Kodi has a sand spur stuck he makes an exception, if I am quick about it.

However, if you see blisters or serious cuts, please call your veterinarian.

If the pads are cracked or dry ask your vet for a good pad moisturizer.  It is not a good idea to use your moisturizer on your pet’s paws as it may soften the pads too much, and dogs lick their feet and don’t need to be ingesting moisturizer.

Pets.webmd suggests massaging your dog’s paws to relax them and promote circulation. The preferred method is to begin by rubbing gently between the pads on the bottom of the paw and in between each toe.

Their website says “Your dog will be eternally grateful for the extra TLC.”

They haven’t met Kodi.

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