By Patti Greco
Sound familiar? Your dog or cat smells something cooking on the grill, and in an effort to grab it, he scorches his paws. Sun-baked asphalt and sand can also hurt his pads.
Cause for concern: A wounded animal may hide or withdraw to tend to his injury, but he needs your help. In addition to keeping track of his whereabouts, watch for signs of pain when he's walking, incessant licking of the paws and cracking or blistering on his pads. If he suffers a minor burn, apply a cool, wet compress to the wound, cover it with a burn ointment and wrap it with gauze.
To keep your pet safe: It's best to not let him loose while you're barbecuing. But if you must have him in the yard while you're grilling, keep tennis balls or dog bones nearby to distract him when he starts hovering. Also, steer clear of hot black concrete when walking him, and avoid the beach on blazing hot days. If you can, save your strolls for twilight or early morning.