There is nothing better than after a long day, taking your dog for a long walk. So, you slip on your shoes, harness up your best friend, and set out onto the pavement. The first thing that hits the pavement is the bottom of your shoes, but what is the first thing that hits the pavement on your dog? The paw pads.

Its important to remember that even though you may not feel the heat of the side walk, your dogs paws will. While the air temperature may feel nice, the temperature of the asphalt may be blistering. This leads to the question: what is the best way to save the paws? It’ simple!

Below are tips to protected the pads:

1. Never walk your pet on surfaces that are too hot for your own bare feet i.e., if you cannot stand on the surface for 6-7 seconds without pain–its too hot for your pet!

2. If you don’t want to put your bare feet on the ground, use the back of your hand. The same applies: if the ground is too hot for the back of your hand, it’s too hot for your pet!

3. Get pet shoes. They may look silly, but they will save your pet’s paws from the heat of the summer! Better yet, if you don’t want to invest in pet shoes, stick some socks on your dog’s paws. Although socks will likely be less effective than buying shoes, they can serve as decent last minute protection for your pet.

4. Walk on the grass. As asphalt naturally absorbs heat, it can be 40-60 degrees hotter than the air temperature. On the other hand, grass can pull water from the soil and absorb heat at a much hire rate. Thus, grass will be cooler and safer for your pet’s paws.

5. Walk your dog during the coolest part of the day. Not only will this help save the paws, but it may also help prevent heat stroke in your pet. Checking your hourly forecast and planning walks in advance may just save your pet and your pocket from feeling the heat.