ATLANTA — A warning on Reddit, telling pet owners to protect pets' paws during summer months is prompting questions about the dangers plus prevention.
The photo, which measures the pavement at a whopping 153 degrees, is grabbing Atlanta pet owners' attention.
Verify: Is hot pavement a real danger for pets?
Atlanta resident Carol Raborn found out the answer firsthand, after walking her dog to the park.
"I'd heard about it, but I hadn't really thought about since last summer," Raborn said. "Because it was one of the first hot days in Atlanta, and she was excited to go to a dog event."
Raborn said her dog was limping the next day, which is when she decided to take another look.
"I could see her paw was raw and red," she said.
Raborn's dog is doing fine now, but the two now schedule walks only in the morning or evening.
Dr. Ian Flowers, veterinarian with Fulton County Animal Services and Lifeline Animal Project, verified that hot surfaces indeed are a real danger.
"Some dogs will just keep going and then by the time you start noticing them doing something abnormal, it'll be too late," Dr. Flowers said, add it's up to the owner to prevent injury.
According to Dr. Flowers, symptoms of burned paw pads include sloughing of the skin, redness, irritation and blisters.
"The surface does matter," Dr. Flowers said. "Obviously, your darker pavements are going to heat a lot more than the lighter ones."
While booties can protect dogs' paws, Dr. Flowers said solutions like Vaseline or paw wax have not been studied.
The best prevention? Avoid walking on hot pavement or concrete and opt for grass or shady spots instead.
"I actually put my hand on the pavement for a few seconds," Dr. Flowers said. "If it's too hot for me, I know it's too hot for my dog to walk on."
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