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Vets warn pet owners that hot pavement can burn paws

Published: Jun. 19, 2021 at 6:39 AM MST|Updated: Jun. 19, 2021 at 6:40 AM MST
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KOVR) - With parts of the country boiling with excessive heat, it is a good time to remind pet owners to take care of their furry friends’ paws.

Veterinary clinics say they’re seeing more dogs with burns on their paws because the pavement is too hot to handle.

Nine-month-old Kona is one cool dog and wants to keep it that way. So, her owner Mark Wemple says he’s changing his dog-walking habits because of the triple-digit temperatures.

“I don’t take her out in the afternoon because it’s just too hot,” Wemple said.

As the thermometer rises, clinics say they see more animals coming in with heat-related injuries.

“Oslo has one wrapped up paw here from walking on ground that was a little too hot,” vet tech Julia Armstrong said about a recent furry patient.

It’s an all too common problem this time of year.

“We had a dog that got loose from its owner. And by the time they captured the dog, all of her paws were blistered and ripped open and raw from running on asphalt,” Armstrong said.

Vets say on a 90-degree day, the temperature of the pavement can reach 150 degrees.

“They have a little footpad like our palms that is all very tender skin,” Armstrong said. “It’s meant to be walked on but it’s not meant to be on sizzling hot ground.”

One tip Armstrong offered is to first touch the sidewalk with the back of your own hand.

“If that is uncomfortable to you, that is really uncomfortable to your dog’s tender, little paws,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong also recommends putting those dog walks on pause.

“You’ll have to go for a walk in the evening when the sun goes down or in the morning before it gets too hot,” she said.

It’s a sacrifice that’ll make man’s best friend so thankful.

“They trust us to take care of them,” Armstrong said.

If you have to go out before it cools down, experts say you should carry your dog to grassy areas to avoid the concrete.

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