When was the last time you walked on a sidewalk or asphalt road in the middle of a hot summer's day...in bare feet?
Wouldn't think of venturing out without your sandals! Now think of your dog as he walks beside you across a searing hot parking lot or runs alongside your bike on an asphalt road or walks next to you along a hot sidewalk, or accompanies you on a metal boat dock or is leashed in the back of an exposed truck...all with unprotected paws, often with a tongue hanging out. If the dog stops and refuses to keep walking or you notice a limp in his stride, stop and check. Signs of burned pads are limping, licking or chewing his feet, pads darker in color than usual or part of his pad open and red.
But don't let it come to this. Keep your dog off these surfaces in the heat of the day. Bring water with you to keep your dog hydrated (they can't sweat like us and can overheat easily) and to cool down his paws when necessary. If his tongue is hanging out (this is how they cool their body temperature down) he needs water and a chance to cool down. Let him walk beside you on the grass next to the sidewalk and seek out the shady side of the street when you go walking. A towel soaked in water and placed under the dog if he needs to wait on a hot surface is another smart way to save your dog from the summertime blues!
Established in August of 2008 by writer, artist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.