Now that we're in the hottest of summer days it's important to understand how dangerous hot pavement can be to your pets. Pavement absorbs heat at a fast rate and actually becomes hotter than the air surrounding it. This can cause severe burns to both human feet and your pet's paws! Knowing when pavement is too hot for your pet and how to protect your dog's paws on hot pavement are critical in the summer months.
How to Assess Pavement Temperature
Any type of road surface is considered pavement, however the worst culprit is black asphalt. Darker colors (and black especially), absorb light and heat, and so heat up faster, become hotter, and retain heat better. Although you may think that the temperature of pavement can only be as hot as the temperature of the air, that's actually incorrect.
Asphalt can be 40-60 degrees hotter than air temperatures - this can create scalding temperatures that are harmful to your pets paws.
Let's compare air temperatures to pavement temperatures:
|Air Temperature||Pavement Temperature|
|77°F / 25°C||125°F / 52°C|
|86°F / 30°C||135°F / 57°C|
|88°F / 31°C||143°F / 62°C|
At 125°F skin destruction can occur in just 60 seconds. You should always be checking the asphalt prior to allowing your pet to walk on it, otherwise paws will be burned.
Three Ways to Prevent Burns on Hot Pavement
The first way we recommend to prevent burns from hot pavement is to directly avoid hot pavement in the first place. We understand that dogs need exercise, even in the summer months, and you can still provide this by bringing them to grassy, shaded areas. Not only is this better for their paws, but it will help prevent your dog from overheating in the sun.
Another method we recommend is using boots. We often don't think about using boots in the summer, but they're highly effective at preventing burns on paws from hot pavement. Similar to how we wear shoes, dog boots will help protect the paw fully from the heat.
A third method is to use a paw wax. These waxes create a temporary protective barrier that surrounds the paw and allows for a dog to go out for a little while on hotter surfaces. Using waxes for the sole purpose of preventing burns, though, is not as good as the other two above methods.
Regardless of which method you choose to do, it's important to also keep your dogs paws moisturized and full of nutrients when exposed to high heat. The heat can really dry out your dogs paws over time. Be sure to check out our 100% natural, edible, and vet approved paw balms to keep your dogs paws healthy this summer.
Is it too Hot for my Dog's Paws on Hot Pavement?
Another way for you to test whether or not the pavement is too hot for your pet is to take your hand and place it directly on the pavement. If it's too hot for you to hold it directly on the pavement for more than 10 seconds, then it's too hot for your dog.