Sometimes, despite our best efforts, our pets get hurt. Of course the best way to avoid burned pads is to keep our dogs off of the hot pavement in the summer, shorten walks, and go outside during cooler times of the day. But if your pet does get painful burns on his feet, here’s how to help him!

How to Identify: How can you know if your dog has burned pads? You’ll be able to tell by his body language. He may hold up a foot, limp, or whimper when walking. You might be able to see the burns as well. Very severe burns can even cause a black paw pad to turn red. These burns can develop into blisters. Burns are most likely to happen to pups who are not used to running hard and fast on concrete or if they walk/stand for long periods of time on hot pavement.

Treatment: In the case of severe burns, you should of course take your pet to the vet. But there are some home remedies you can try as well. Immediately after the burn, submerge your dog’s feet in cold water for about 10 minutes. You can also wet a washcloth and press it against the burn. Apply antibiotics such as Neosporin to the pad to keep it clean and help it heal, and then wrap the paw(s) in a sock or gauze to keep him from licking the burn. Licking it will only make it worse in the long run! Continue to monitor the burn and take your pet to the vet if his paws are not improving.

Healing: While your dog is healing, limit time outside and make sure he stays on grassy areas. Keep him inside and try to limit walking around and running. It’s hard because dogs love to run and play, but in order to heal, his feet will need time to rest. Keep the paws covered so that he does not lick them.

Prevent Burns: To help avoid burns, walk your dog outside on concrete year round. This will help him to develop thicker skin and allow his feet to be more prepared for the hot summer walks. Then simply be mindful of when the concrete is hot. If it’s too hot for your feet, it’s too hot for your dog!

With these tips, your pup will be back on his feet in no time! Maybe play a lively round of fetch in a grassy field instead of the usual walk around the block because your dog will still love to frolic outside in this beautiful summer!