Here are some helpful tips to determine the best form of treatment for your sweet pup if you suspect their paws are burnt, as well as prevention tips.
The best way to treat burned dog paws should relate to the severity of the burn.
“Shake,” you command, extending your hand out for your dog to take. When your dog responds, placing his paw in your hand, you notice something isn’t right. Perhaps your dog is acting like their paw is sore. Or, maybe the paw pad doesn’t look or feel like it should; it’s rough, overly warm, or extremely red, raw, or otherwise damaged. Your dog’s paw pads are at risk of burning from so many things, from household chemicals to walking on hot pavement. When the thermostat reads over 27°C / 80°F, man-made ground surfaces become painfully hot and can reach well over 27°C / 100°F.
In the UAE, when the temperature reaches 38°C / 100°F, man-made ground is hot enough to boil water! In 55°C / 131°F, the ground temperature is hot enough to fry an egg within three minutes!?
What’s worse, a pet’s paw pad injuries are hard to treat. Paw pad cuts, blisters, and sores are prone to infection and healing is slow due to the constant pressure placed on the dog’s injured paw. When a dog paw pad injury occurs due to hot pavement or sand, healing can be complicated by the fact that in most cases, all of the dog’s pads are injured with burns and sores – it’s not a situation where the dog sustains a paw pad injury on just one foot (thereby enabling the dog to limp, which limits pressure to the paw, allowing the dog’s pad injury to heal).
If your dog swims a lot, their paw pads are at a greater risk of burning. Water softens paw pads and so when dogs walk on hot asphalt or other surfaces after getting out of the water their paws are ultra-sensitive and more prone to burning or cracking.
Signs of Burned Dog Paws
- Rough or dry paw pads—a sign that your dog’s paws are wearing out or repeatedly exposed to overly hot asphalt or other surfaces.
- Your dog won’t stop licking and chewing at their paws—a clear sign that paws are causing them discomfort or pain.
- Paw pads are darker than usual
- Part of the paw pad is missing
- Paw pads are blistered or red
- Your dog is limping, refusing to walk or reluctant to go outside
How to Treat Burned Dog Paws
The second you notice your dog’s paws are burned or your dog is showing signs of discomfort, run paws under cool water or use a cool compress.
If entire chunks of the paw are missing or your dog appears in pain, visit your veterinarian as soon as possible. Your vet can identify more serious or deep burns as well as prescribe antibiotics or pain medications as needed.
If your dog remains in good spirits but their paws are sore or mildly burned, it’s time to start treating the problem before it gets worse. Dogs love to lick burned paws, but licking only makes the problem worse and can lead to infection. You can wrap your dog’s paws to prevent licking (which is easier than it sounds), or you can apply a soothing pet-friendly balm to reduce discomfort, speed up healing, and help deter licking—a win-win-win!
Even if your dog continues to lick at paws, it is perfectly safe to consume Natural Dog Company's dog balms, after all, it’s made from all-natural and organic plant-based materials. You should still do your best to distract your dog from licking by playing games, brushing your dog, or busting out his/her favorite chew toy.
Made from plant-based ingredients, our Organic Snout Soother and Organic Wrinkle Balm is infused with moisturizing and soothing qualities that expedite the healing process. It also reduces the risk of infection thanks to its anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties.
Prevention is Key: How to Prevent Burned Dog Paws
If you use a product like Paw Soother to heal your dog’s paws, you’ll notice how soft and smooth they become. While this signifies a healthy paw, it also means your dog is at greater risk of burned paw pads again. You should never walk your dog on hot asphalt, concrete, or other surfaces if you couldn’t stand to walk barefoot on them too. Use the palm of your hand or the sole of your foot to test temperatures. If the ground feels hot, your dog needs protection.
Aside from strapping your pup in specialised dog shoes that make him walk like the neighborhood rodeo clown, how do you protect your dog’s paws?
- Walk your dog in the early mornings/evenings. Avoid walking the dog in the heat of the day, when the sun beats down, heating the pavement and sand.
- Walk your dog on the grass. The grass remains cooler than the sidewalk, lessening a dog’s chance of paw pad injuries. This makes a trip to a shady park a good option for an afternoon walk in the summertime.
- Take frequent dog walks on the pavement during cool times of the day. This will help toughen a dog’s paw pads by promoting the formation of callus. This makes the skin of the dog’s footpads thicker and less prone to injuries like burns and cuts. Dogs that rarely walk on pavement will have more sensitive paw pads and they require more frequent nail clippings, as walking on pavement files the dog’s nails.