dogs and hot pads

I always wondered how my dog could walk on the hot road or pavement on a sizzling summer day and not run for the cool shade or grass. Our own feet are so sensitive that we would never go barefoot on the hot street.

Dog paws are much tougher and more complex than human feet. The paw pads are very tough, thick and well-insulated. They are made of fat, connective tissue and are the thickest skin found on the dog’s body. The thick pad layers keep your dog from feeling the heat of the pavement or freezing surfaces when it is icy or snowy. Dog’s pads also act as cushions for the paws when walking on rough surfaces.

However, even though a dog’s paws are built to take the heat, cold and rough terrain, they can still be hurt. This is especially true if your dog is not used to prolonged exposure to environmental extremes. The pads can blister and peel. It is important to look for cool paths to walk on during those extra sizzling hot days. In the winter, be sure to remove any snow or ice that may accumulate between the toes after a winter stroll. A little petroleum jelly on the pads will help if they are extremely dry or cracked.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had paw pads on the bottoms of our feet? Then we could spend more on luxuries such as pedicures and less on those “Manolo Blahniks”!

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