How to Protect Dog Paws from Hot Pavement

icon July 8, 2024

As temperatures rise, one of the concerns for dog owners is protecting their pets from the hot pavement. Dogs’ paws are sensitive and can easily get burned when exposed to high temperatures. In this article, we’ll explore how to protect dog paws from hot pavement, understand how hot is too hot for dogs, determine when it’s too hot to walk your dog, and discuss whether Vaseline can protect dog paws from heat.

How to Protect Dog Paws from Hot Pavement

How to Protect Dog Paws from Hot Pavement

1. Avoid Walking During Peak Heat:

One of the simplest ways to protect your dog's paws is to avoid walking them during the hottest parts of the day. Early morning and late evening walks are best when the pavement is cooler.

2. Use Paw Protection:
There are various products designed to protect your dog's paws from heat, including:

  • Dog Booties: These are like shoes for dogs and provide a barrier between the hot pavement and their paws.

  • Paw Wax: Products like Musher’s Secret can be applied to your dog's paws to create a protective layer.

3. Stay on Grass or Dirt Paths:
Whenever possible, walk your dog on grass, dirt, or other cooler surfaces rather than pavement. Parks and shaded trails are good alternatives.

4. Use Cooling Pads:
If you must walk on pavement, use cooling pads or wet towels for your dog to stand on intermittently during the walk.

5. Carry Water:
Always bring water with you on walks to keep your dog hydrated and to wet their paws if they start to feel hot.

6. Test the Pavement:
Before setting out, test the pavement with your hand or barefoot. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog.

How Hot is Too Hot for Dogs?

Pavement can become dangerously hot much quicker than one might think. Here are some key temperature guidelines:

  • Air Temperature vs. Pavement Temperature: When the air temperature is 77°F (25°C), pavement can reach 125°F (51°C). At 87°F (30°C), pavement can soar to 143°F (62°C).

  • Burn Threshold: Pavement at 125°F can cause burns in as little as 60 seconds. At 140°F, it can cause burns within seconds.

When is it Too Hot to Walk Your Dog?

Determining when it’s too hot to walk your dog is crucial for their safety:

  • General Rule: If the temperature is above 85°F (29°C), consider postponing your walk or choosing a cooler time of day.

  • Humidity and Heat Index: High humidity can make it feel hotter than it actually is, increasing the risk of heatstroke. Always consider the heat index (a combination of temperature and humidity) when deciding to walk your dog.

  • Paw Sensitivity: Remember that a dog's paw pads are more sensitive than we might realize. If the pavement feels too hot for you, it's definitely too hot for your dog.
    Related: When Should You Walk The Dog

Can Dogs Walk on Hot Pavement?

Dogs can walk on hot pavement, but it’s not recommended during extreme heat conditions. Here’s why:

  • Risk of Burns: Hot pavement can burn your dog’s paws, causing pain, blisters, and even long-term damage.

  • Overheating: Dogs regulate their body temperature through their paws and panting. Walking on hot pavement increases the risk of overheating and heatstroke.

Does Vaseline Protect Dog Paws from Heat?

Vaseline can offer a temporary barrier, but it’s not a complete solution:

  • Barrier Protection: While Vaseline can create a thin barrier and help moisturize the paw pads, it doesn’t provide significant protection against the extreme heat of hot pavement.

  • Use in Conjunction: If using Vaseline, it should be part of a broader strategy that includes avoiding hot surfaces, using booties or paw wax, and walking during cooler times.
    Related: Can I Put Vaseline On Dogs

Additional Tips for Hot Weather Safety

  • Hydration: Ensure your dog has plenty of fresh water at all times, especially before and after walks.

  • Cooling Vests: Consider using a cooling vest for your dog during walks to help regulate their body temperature.

  • Shade Breaks: Take frequent breaks in shaded areas to let your dog rest and cool down.

  • Monitor for Signs of Overheating: Watch for excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, or disorientation, which are signs of heat exhaustion. If these occur, seek shade and water immediately and consult a vet if necessary.


Protecting your dog's paws from hot pavement is crucial for their comfort and safety during the warmer months. By avoiding walks during peak heat, using protective gear, and choosing cooler surfaces, you can help prevent painful burns and overheating. Remember to always test the pavement temperature and stay mindful of weather conditions to ensure your dog enjoys safe and comfortable walks all summer long.

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