We’ve all seen it – cute canine footprints leading in and out of concrete or cement sidewalks. While many of us may try to leave our imprint forever embedded where there is a lot of foot traffic, it’s not so great when your pet’s paws get stuck or they trudge the mess through your house.
Just how long do you have to wait before it’s safe? Let’s find out!
How Long Before My Dog Can Walk on New Concrete?
Ideally, you would need to wait at least 24 hours before allowing your fur baby onto newly poured concrete. It’s important to understand that although the surface seems sturdy and safe, what’s under the hard layer could still be soft and have yet to cure.
This means that if you put enough weight on the new concrete, even after 24 hours, it could crack and damage the surface.
How Long Before I Can Walk and Drive on New Concrete?
Chances are your pet weighs less than you, so in theory, they can walk on the concrete before you can. We would still suggest waiting at least 24 hours before taking a step onto newly poured concrete to be safe.
However, before driving, we would recommend waiting at least 10 to 14 days. It won’t be until a month later that the concrete will be fully cured, dried, and can support a ton of weight at full strength.
If it rains during or soon after you pour the concrete, then you should extend the length of time by at least a few days before attempting to walk on it.
What Happens If My Dog Walks on New Concrete?
What happens to your dog on new concrete depends on the level of curing. If your pooch walks onto the newly poured concrete straight after you lay it out, then the concrete will cling to his feet, fur, and maybe even harden a little and make it excruciatingly difficult to get off.
You won’t have to deal with such a big headache if your dog walks on new concrete days after pouring.
How to Remove Concrete from a Dog’s Paws?
Let’s say you’re one of the unlucky ones and your dog got wet concrete all over his legs. You should act quickly as hardened concrete is even more difficult to remove.
Start by getting as much of the loose concrete off as possible by using a wet or moist cloth or towel. Once you’ve done this to the best of your ability, soak your dog’s affected areas in cool or room temperature water for at least 15 minutes.
We know it can be a bit difficult to get your pup to stay in one place for too long, so try to do the soaking in a bathtub at home with something to distract him such as a lick pad. A dog lick pad is something that can attach to the bathroom wall. You can spread healthy treats such as peanut butter into the grooves and your dog will be perfectly happy standing still and licking away.
After soaking, use pH-neutral soap and gently lather the soap all over your dog’s legs while trying to get all the leftover bits of concrete off. Don’t be afraid to do this a few times, but don’t scrub too hard. Once you’re done, rinse thoroughly to make sure there is no concrete left and the soap is washed clean.
Dry off your dog’s paws, give the fur a comb-through and maybe use some paw ointment or lotion meant specifically for dogs for some moisturization. This last step isn’t mandatory, but we would highly recommend it since the profuse washing will leave your dog’s paws very dry and prone to cracking.
How to Keep My Dog Off of Fresh Concrete?
You can avoid the arduous cleanup by preventing your dog from stepping onto the new concrete in the first place. We understand that dogs have a mind of their own, as do other critters that may leave their imprint. If this is the case, how do you keep your pets and other animals off the concrete?
1. Cordon Off the Area
Start by roping off the area using metal T posts. Lining the area is also helpful for humans and other people who may accidentally walk through the fresh concrete. We understand that this could further entice your dog to check out what’s going on, so you also have to create a barrier.
2. Seal It Off
Create a barrier using something such as chicken wire and wind it around the perimeter of the T posts to seal it off. Of course, there is still a chance your dog or another animal may go barreling through, but it’s much less likely.
3. Cover it Up
Setting a perimeter and sealing off the sides may help keep out regular land animals, but what about birds? If you want a clean slab of concrete when dry, we also suggest covering up the area. Don’t do it with something that can keep a lot of the sunlight out.
Instead, you can use part of the chicken wire and lay it over the top. The perforated material still allows sunlight and enough ventilation through to speed up the curing process but it still keeps out pests and birds.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Before Dogs Can Walk on Concrete?
Dogs can walk on concrete after 24 hours. It should take around 24 hours for the surface to cure and have enough strength to support the weight of your dog and yourself.
How Long Do 4 Inches of Concrete Take to Cure?
4 inches of concrete takes about 2 weeks to reach its full strength, but dogs and humans can walk on the surface after 24 hours. We would suggest waiting a week to 10 days before driving on new concrete.
Can I walk on Concrete After 12 Hours?
We suggest waiting 24 hours before walking on concrete, but if it was only a cosmetic job with a thin layer on the surface of the slap to cover up some cracks, then 12 hours is fine.