Over the weekend, I spent a perfect summer day at the beach. There is truly nothing like summertime in Southern New England. I didn’t have a care in the world – until I saw a dog who looked a little uncomfortable.

The poor pup was having a tough time walking on the hot sand. Throughout the day I witnessed several dogs struggle on the sand, some limping, others begging to be picked up.

I have no problem with dogs at the beach if they are permitted. I’ll be the first to pet them and give them all of the love. But these dogs must have been scalding. This weekend got me wondering, do dogs feel the heat in their paws the same way humans do in their feet?

I decided to give my friend Tim Riendeau a call. He’s the co-owner of Harmonious Hounds and specializes in pet care and dog training. I asked him, “Do their paws get as hot as bare feet on sand?”

“Yes, totally," he answered without hesitation. "They can burn themselves pretty easily. If you can’t put your own hand down on the sand without it burning, then they probably can’t handle it.”

It’s clear that most dogs love the beach, so I asked Tim, “How can we safely bring our pups to the beach with us?” He admitted that he wouldn’t at all but offered up some helpful tips for when you want to bring your furry friend along.

  • Keep your dog as close to the water as possible. The sand will be cooler, making it easier for your dog to regulate its own temperature.
  • Some breeds are more tolerant to heat than others, so do some homework beforehand to ensure your dog’s safety.
  • Have your dog wear booties, but keep in mind that this is only a good idea for a short while. Dogs actually have sweat glands in their paws, and those booties could prohibit those sweat glands from working properly.
  • Always have a good source of shade and water.
Maddie Levine/ Townsquare Media
Maddie Levine/ Townsquare Media

Thank you to Tim for this helpful information. Let’s keep ourselves and our puppies safe this season.

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