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Will Hot Pavement Hurt Dogs’ Paws? Plus Other Summer Dog Care Questions

A dog walks outside
Rohappy/Shutterstock.com

As the temperature rises and days get longer, summer brings along a plethora of outdoor activities and adventures. It’s a time when many dog owners eagerly take their furry friends outside for long walks, beach trips, and hikes.

However, the summer months can also pose some risks to our beloved pets. From scorching heat to dehydration, it’s important to prioritize dog safety and care during this season. We spoke with a veterinarian to answer common summer dog care questions you probably have about keeping your pup safe this season.

Is Summer Dangerous for Dogs?

A dog drinks water
Jaromir Chalabala/Shutterstock.com

“It definitely can be dangerous,” said Dr. Nikki Meredith, DVM, a partner with Puppylation Health.

Heat and sunshine are dangerous to dogs for many of the same reasons they are dangerous to humans. Dogs can be affected by dehydration, heatstroke, and sunburns, just like you and me.

Many pet parents also believe that their dogs are better prepared for these elements because they are wild animals, but this is not really true. While dogs inherited survival instincts and traits that helped their ancestors survive hot summers, they are still quite vulnerable to extreme elements, especially since most breeds have adapted to living inside.

Fortunately, it is easy to take the right precautions to avoid an unhappy or unhealthy pup this summer.

Niubya Foldable Dog Pool

An easy way to keep your dog cool on hot days.

Will Hot Pavement Hurt Dogs’ Paws?

A dog on a walk
Aleksey Boyko/Shutterstock.com

Yes, hot pavement can hurt, and even burn, the paw pads of dogs. People often incorrectly assume that the thick pads on dogs’ paws are built to withstand extreme temperatures, but this is not true. Hot pavement can cause serious damage to your pet’s feet.

“If you can’t stand barefoot on hot pavement for more than five minutes then neither should your dog,” said Dr. Meredith.

If you aren’t sure how hot the pavement is, place your palm on the ground. You should be able to hold your hand on the pavement for at least a minute without feeling any discomfort. If you can’t do that, it’s too hot for your dog.

You can purchase booties that can protect your dog’s feet from hot pavement, although Dr. Meredith noted that these can cut off airflow and make it harder for your dog to cool off in the heat.

XSY&G Dog Boots

These can prevent your dog from burning their paws on hot pavement.

There are also many balms and lotions available that are advertised as a way to protect your dog’s paws from hot cement or asphalt. However, Samantha Long, one of the founders and owners of Puppylation Health, noted that these products can trap heat on your dog’s paws, so it’s best to check with your vet before using them.

Musher's Secret Dog Paw Wax

A popular paw balm that can prevent dry, cracked paws.

Can Dogs Get Overheated?

A dog panting in the car
Cavan-Images/Shutterstock.com

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, but yes, they can all get overheated in hot conditions. In fact, dogs can get overheated much more easily than humans. Dogs don’t sweat like humans do, and they have fewer sweat glands that are only found on the nose and foot pads. A dog that is overheating can only regulate body temperature through panting, which is not very efficient during hot weather.

To avoid an overheated dog, Dr. Meredith recommends no strenuous activity when the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit or 85 degrees in humid climates. On hot days, try to walk your dog early in the morning or late in the evening when the temperature has cooled.

If you can’t take your dog for a walk when it’s cooler outside, you may need to keep them in for most of the day. You can keep them occupied with puzzle toys and frozen treats until it’s cool enough for a real walk.

One easy way to monitor overheating is to use the Uh-Oh Kit by Puppylation Health. This customizable medicine cabinet for your dog comes with a variety of tools that can help you catch health issues early and stop medical conditions from getting worse until you can reach your veterinarian.

The Uh-Oh Kit

The Uh-Oh Kit, Puppylation Health's flagship product, is a customizable medicine cabinet for your dog.

One of the tools inside the Uh-Oh Kit is the customized vital signs checklist. After filling this out according to your dog’s healthy standards, you can use the list and the accompanying directions to monitor your dog’s vital signs. If your dog’s gums start to turn a darker pink, for example, it means that they are getting too warm and need a place to cool down.

Can Dogs Get Dehydrated?

A dog drinks water
Krasula/Shutterstock.com

Yes, dogs can easily get dehydrated. They should always have access to clean, cool water, Dr. Meredith said, but this is especially crucial in the summertime.

Symptoms of dehydration in dogs include loss of appetite, panting, dry nose, lethargy, and sunken eyes. If you suspect that your dog is dehydrated, it’s important to offer them cool water and monitor them closely. If your dog is experiencing severe symptoms of dehydration, such as vomiting, you should seek immediate veterinary care.

lesotc Upgraded Dog Water Bottle

Always bring water on walks when it's hot outside.

Can Dogs Get Sunburned?

A dog on a boat
Gorloff-KV/Shutterstock.com

Just like humans, dogs can get sunburned after too much sun exposure. While most dogs are covered in fur, many areas of their bodies are bare.

“The areas most likely to burn and nose, eyes, around the mouth, ears, and belly,” said Dr. Meredith.

You can avoid sunburns on your dog by applying pet-safe sunscreen to these areas before heading outside. You should also avoid taking your dog outside when the sun is the strongest, which is usually the late morning to the early afternoon.

Epi-Pet K-9 Care Sunscreen

Protect your dog from sunburns.

You can also purchase UV clothing for your dogs to help protect them from strong sun rays.

Is It Safe to Take My Dog to the Beach?

A dog at the beach
Maria Markevich/Shutterstock.com

Heading to the beach is a fun summer tradition for many families and their dogs, and it can be a great way to tire out an energetic pet. However, the beach poses many safety risks that you’ll need to be aware of before you go.

You should watch your dog at the beach in the same frame of mind as you would watch your children. According to Dr. Meredith, that means making sure they don’t swim out in the water too far, ingest too much salt water, burn their paws, or get overheated. As long as you’re keeping an eye on your dog and watching for symptoms of a health issue, they should be fine.

AMMSUN 7ft Heavy Duty High Wind Beach Umbrella

Make sure your dog has a shady spot to rest while you're at the beach.


This summer, make cherished memories with your canine companions while keeping them safe, healthy, and happy throughout all the adventures ahead. Stay cool, stay safe, and enjoy the summer with your four-legged friend.

Anne Taylor Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor is a writer with a BA in Journalism and a passion for storytelling. Her work has been published on a variety of websites including Mental Floss and Well + Good, and she recently published her first novel, What it Takes to Lose. When she's not writing, Anne loves to travel (19 countries and counting), spend time outside, and play with her dog, Pepper. Read Full Bio »
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