Dog owners are being warned about walking their pooches on hot roads and pavements ahead of the summer.
Dr Anne Fawcett of Sydney’s School of Veterinary Science told Yahoo7 road surfaces can reach more than 50C, and dog owners might not notice their pups suffering through the heat.
It comes after New Zealand Animal Police shared a photo of a dog with burnt paws from a “hot tar road”.
“People are normally wearing shoes when they’re outside and don’t notice how hot the surface is,” Dr Fawcett said.
“Dogs’ feet will burn – even as early as 9am. Dogs also won’t always yelp or carry on when they’re in pain either.”
Check how hot the ground is
She advised anyone taking their canine for a walk to place the back of their hand on the ground for five seconds and check the temperature. If it’s too hot, don’t walk your dog on that surface.
“Dogs are also very susceptible to heat and can’t cool themselves as efficiently as people,” Dr Fawcett said.
“Pugs, French Bulldogs and English Bulldogs are even more susceptible.”
It’s best to walk dogs on grass during the hotter parts of the day – but that doesn’t include artificial turf, which can still be quite hot.
Puppy shoes can ‘overheat’
As for whether you should put shoes on your dog – Dr Fawcett advised against puppy sneakers.
“They have to be fitted properly, which you can do but the average person’s dog would get quite annoyed by having shoes on,” she said.
“They can also overheat.”
For anyone whose dog does get burnt paws, Dr Fawcett advised to be cautious examining the pup’s feet as they “might snap at you”.
“Rinse their feet with cool, but not icy, water for about five to 10 minutes,” she said.
“Take them to the vet if you’re not entirely sure what to do. Also, if you notice your dog licking its paws that’s an indication it might be suffering.
“It’s important to treat burnt feet as they can get infected.”