Summer is officially here, and already, veterinarians are reporting burned dog paws. So PETA is warning against the dangers of walking our animal companions on sizzling sidewalks.
Medical Lake Veterinary Hospital in Washington state shared a recent incident involving a dog named Olaf, who was treated for burned paws:
The hospital’s manager, Jeannette Dutton, told news outlets that the burns were so severe that the paw pads were completely gone and raw muscle was exposed. Olaf’s guardians claimed that they had no idea of the dog’s distress until they noticed bloody paw prints on the sidewalk.
Thankfully, veterinarians believe that Olaf will make a full recovery with daily paw treatments. PETA sent a letter to Medical Lake Mayor Shirley Maike offering to send her hot weather warning signs to post around the city.
On an 87-degree day, asphalt temperatures can reach a scorching 140 degrees.
Even just a few minutes’ contact with hot pavement can cause dogs’ sensitive paws to burn. Hot sidewalks also reflect heat onto dogs’ bodies, increasing their risk of suffering from deadly heatstroke.
Do Your Part to Keep Canine Family Members Safe This Summer
PETA encourages all animal guardians to test the pavement with a hand before setting out, walk their dogs early in the morning or late at night (when it’s cooler), carry water, take frequent breaks in shady spots, and never make dogs wear muzzles that restrict their breathing.
While we’re on the topic of heat-related danger—please, please never leave an animal inside a vehicle in hot weather! Temperatures can quickly soar in parked cars, and a dog trapped inside can die from heatstroke within minutes—even if the vehicle is in the shade with the windows slightly open, which has little to no effect on lowering the temperature inside.