Protecting Your Dogs Feet During The Summer Season

Posted on: 14 June 2016

There are various foot issues that can cause pain and mobility problems in the summer. While some of the hazards are related to hot weather, other risks are enhanced simply because of the increase in outdoor activities by dogs and their owners.

Dogs' feet as not as tough or resilient as many pet owners believe them to be. As a general rule, if an activity would cause harm or pain to a pet owner's feet, they should not allow their dog to engage in the activity.

Burnt foot pads

Whether at home on hot asphalt or at the beach on hot sand, dogs face an increased risk of burnt foot pads during the heat of summer. Discarded cigarettes can also be a problem is public areas.

Signs of pad burns include redness, blisters, and change of color. Your dog may also limp and/or chew at their feet.

A trip to a veterinarian is needed for burnt foot pads, because antibiotics may be needed to prevent infection. If the burns are severe, pain medication may also be required.

Cuts and bruising

There is a much better chance of injuries from cuts if your dog is outside of its usual habitat. While there's always the risk of stepping on stones, your dog's feet may also be punctured by thorns, stinging nettles, and other sharp objects during the summer growing season. Broken glass bottles and discarded can pull tabs can cause severe cuts that can result in an emergency run to an animal hospital.

You must also be aware of the presence of holes dug by gophers and other burrowing animals. These holes are usually dug in series, so if you notice one deep round hole, there is likely to be others close by and are not quite as visible.

Stepping into a gopher hole while running or jumping can cause serious injuries to feet, legs, or hips. If you see these types of burrowing animals nearby, you must be extra vigilant and assume there are holes in the general area.


While dogs may exhibit some of the same respiratory symptoms of seasonal allergies as humans, they may instead develop itching in their feet and/or ears. Your dog may begin to chew and bite at their feet incessantly.

If allergies occur, you will need to visit a vet for allergy medication. You will also need to be proactive in keeping the allergens from your home by cleaning your dog's feet each time it enters the house.

Allergies may be more frequent in the summer, but medication may required year round to keep them at bay, especially if your dog has multiple allergies.

Protecting your dog's feet

Just as you can but booties that protect your dog's feet from frostbite in the winter, you can also fit them with footwear that is designed for protection from injuries during the active summer season. 

There are multiple retailers that offer a variety of styles and sizes in dog footwear. However, you must allow your dog to gradually acclimate to wearing boots, so you may want to allow your dog to adjust gradually before expecting them to fully embrace wearing their footwear.