Protecting Your Great Pyrenees’ Paws From Hot Summer Asphalt

It’s summertime and for many of us, that means more outdoor adventures with our furry friends. As pet parents to the magnificent Great Pyrenees, we know they love to play and explore new places. But, the summer heat can be a hidden danger—especially for their sensitive paws on hot asphalt.

During the blistering summer months, pavement heated by the sun can reach temperatures significantly higher than the air temperature. While we humans have the advantage of wearing shoes, our furry friends walk barefoot. This hot pavement can easily burn a dog’s paws, causing them pain and discomfort.

We worried about it a great deal with Octavius living in Baltimore during the summers. It could get quite toasty outside, and in many areas, there wasn’t much shade to protect from the sun, or grass to walk on—only concrete and asphalt.

It is important for Pyr owners to be aware of this risk, particularly on the hottest days of the year, in urban areas, and at midday.

Tips & Tricks For Protecting Your Pyr’s Feet

First of all, test the pavement! An easy way to assess the risk is to place the back of your hand on the pavement. If you can’t hold it there for at least five seconds, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws. Some owners may even try walking across it with their own bare feet. Your dog’s feet are tougher than yours, but if it burns you, don’t risk your pup!

We tested the sidewalks in Baltimore, and if it was too hot, Octavius either got a car ride instead, or we opted to delay the walk until the temperature outside was more reasonable.

Pay attention to the temperature! “If the temperature is 85 degrees or over without the chance for the pavement to cool down, the ground may be too hot for safely walking a dog,” says Dr. Klein from the American Kennel Club. Try to schedule your walks during the cooler parts of the day—early morning or late evening. This strategy ensures the pavement has had time to cool down, thereby minimizing potential damage to your Pyrenees’ paws.

Consider investing in protective dog booties. These act like shoes and provide a barrier between your dog’s paws and the hot pavement. If your dog isn’t comfortable wearing booties, an alternative is to use paw wax. This wax forms a protective layer on the paw pads and can be used in any weather condition. Neither Octavius nor Blueberry would wear booties, but if you have a puppy Pyr, this is something you can train them to wear, and it may be helpful if you live in a very hot region.

Ensure your Pyrenees is well-hydrated before venturing out for a summer walk. In Baltimore, I always carried water and a bowl when we took Octavius on adventures. Also, try to find routes with grassy or shady areas where they can walk and take rest breaks. You may also make note of public watering fountains, pet-friendly businesses, or shady areas. If your dog wants to lie down for a few minutes, let them! You may also need to have air conditioning in your home, to allow your Pyr to recover from exertion on hot days.

After each walk, check your dog’s paws for any signs of burns, such as redness, blisters, or cracks. Rinse their paws with cool water, and consider applying a pet-friendly moisturizer to keep the paw pads from drying out.

It’s also important to keep an eye out for signs of distress at all times. If your dog is too hot, you may notice uncontrolled panting, vomiting, reddening skin, excess saliva, or lethargy. They may also refuse to drink water. Be alert for these signs, and if you are concerned about heat stroke, contact your vet right away.

As pet parents, it’s our responsibility to protect our fur babies from the potential dangers of hot summer asphalt. By being mindful of when and where you walk, equipping them with the right gear, and providing after-walk paw care, you can ensure your Great Pyrenees continues to enjoy their outdoor adventures all summer long – comfortably and safely!