Do Dogs Need Shoes & Booties in Summer Heat?
Summer is for spending time with your favorite pup outdoors. Jaunts on the beach, walks in your neighborhood and fun in the sun at the local dog park are all par for the course. But you can't imagine walking around without shoes in the summer, so what about your dog? Are there dog shoes for summer heat protection? Perhaps it's best to purchase dog booties for hot pavement to keep your pet's paws protected all summer long.
Read on to learn why foot coverings are important, what types of terrain may be too hot for your dog's feet and styles to consider.
Why Are Dog Shoes for Summer Walking Important?
While your dog's paws may be tough, that doesn't mean exceedingly hot or cold temperatures won't affect your pet's feet. In the summer, terrain that is too hot — sidewalks and other hot paths may burn your pet's feet.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) states, "Sidewalks and streets become extremely hot in the summer, and while dog's paws are tougher than human feet, they still can get burned by hot pavement." They explain that during the day, the sun can make the sand on the beach tremendously hot as well. The same goes for walking paths or wooden areas directly in the sun's view.
Do All Dogs Need Dog Shoes in Summer Temperatures?
There are many factors that determine whether or not your pet will need shoes for summer heat, some of which include:
- Whether or not you live in a naturally warm climate
- If the walkways near your home are paved
- If you're walking on grass or cool dirt
Some geographic areas — particularly sunny locations with high temperatures and paved ground — make walking very difficult in the summer months. In these terrains, dog shoes or booties are beneficial.
Your dogs breed, size or age don't influence their need for paw protection. Deciding to purchase dog booties is a personal choice. If you know that your pet will be outdoors in the extreme heat, your best bet is to buy something that will protect them. If you have a large fenced-in yard where you and your pet spend most of your time, then your dog's feet might not need the extra coverage.
If you decide not to purchase booties or shoes for your dog, but need to walk them on sidewalks, pavement or other hot areas, keep all of your walk times to early mornings or late evenings when the sun is down and the ground is cooler. If possible, it would also be helpful to keep the walks limited to grassy or dirt-covered areas so that your pet's paws are protected
What Style of Foot Coverings Are Available?
There are so many options for buying dog booties for hot pavement, so test out different types of shoes to determine which are best for your pet. While you're searching, make sure you find shoes that are:
- Rugged, so they can protect your dogs paws from the hot surfaces
- Non-skid, to give your dog a good "grip" while walking
- Lightweight and breathable, to circulate air around your dog's paw without adding to the overheating
- Easy to get on and off so that your dog is comfortable wearing them
Find Something That's Comfortable
You may have seen videos of dogs wearing booties for the first time. It can be a funny sight watching them trying to walk without fully understanding what's on their paws. While any dog may take a little time to get used to the idea of wearing these shoes, never force them to wear something that is uncomfortable or causes them stress. You can help alleviate some of this by letting them wear them around the house for short periods of time and rewarding them once they're ready to come off. But if you noticed your dog constantly chewing at their feet or unwilling to walk with them on, then your dog might not be comfortable with shoes and you might need to look for a different type or an alternative method for keeping their paws protected from hot surfaces. Talk to your veterinarian if you have any questions as they might be able to offer up some recommendations as well.
Your dog's paws can get badly burned from walking on extremely hot surfaces. Do your best to keep your pet cool in the summer weather and protect their paws, whether by purchasing dog shoes or only letting them walk on cool surfaces.
Erin Ollila is a pet enthusiast who believes in the power of words and how a message can inform—and even transform—its intended audience. Her writing can be found all over the internet and in print, and includes interviews, ghostwriting, blog posts, and creative nonfiction. Erin is a geek for SEO and all things social media. She graduated from Fairfield University with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. Reach out to her on Instagram @ErinOllila or learn more about her at http://erinollila.com.