Protecting Fido’s Paws From Hot Tar

Summer in Texas can be absolute scorchers! While most of us have got the hang of beating the heat, it’s important to remember that our canine companions are still very vulnerable to it. Fido is highly prone to overheating: after all, he can’t really sweat to cool off, and he is wearing a fur coat. Your furry friend’s paws are also at risk when it’s hot. Scorching ground can cause serious paw burns! A Frisco, TX vet offers some insight on this ‘hot topic’ in this article.

The Numbers

The old adage about frying eggs on the sidewalk may sound far fetched, but tar absolutely does get hot enough to cook on. It absorbs heat, which is why it’s often much hotter than the air temps around it. Here are a few examples: if it’s 77F, then the asphalt temperature is probably going to be about 125F. That’s significant because at that temperature, Fido would only need to stand on the surface for 60 seconds for serious, skin-damaging burns to occur. If the air is 87F, then that tar could be as hot as 143F. Yikes!

Cooling Off

Think that it’s safe after dark? Not necessarily. Heat takes some time to dissipate from hot tar, especially in sweltering temperatures. Fido could still be at risk of paw burns even after sunset!


Does your dog like swimming? Take extra care with him after he’s gotten out of the water. Fido’s paws are extremely delicate when they’re wet, just as our skin is after we’ve gone swimming or taken a bath.

Warning Signs

Be on the lookout for signs of doggy paw problems. Limping is a telltale one, and should always be investigated. Fido may also lick his paws, hold a paw off the ground, or whimper. If he’s on a surface that’s too hot, he may fidget and move around. Redness, bleeding, rawness, burns, blisters, or scrapes are also indications of trouble. Call your vet immediately if you notice any of these.

Protecting Fido’s Paws

Taking a few precautions can go a long way towards preventing paw burns. Booties are an option, though not all dogs will tolerate them. You can use paw balm or wax to moisturize and protect Fido’s paw pads. Also, try to keep him off hot surfaces.

As your Frisco, TX animal clinic, we’re here to help! Call us anytime!

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