Picture this: it’s a hot day and you’re lounging by the pool for a while, but now it’s time to take a dip to cool off.

You get up off the chair and tip-toe as fast as you can across the hot concrete to avoid burning your tender feet. We’ve all been there, right? Well, so have our pups.

They have tender paw pads that are very sensitive to the hot ground, but how do you know when it’s too hot to trot?

What You Need To Know

  • Asphalt can be 25-50 degrees hotter than the air temperature on a sunny day

  • You can fry an egg with a surface temperature between 144-158 degrees

  • Dog paws can be even more sensitive after spending time playing in the water

On a sunny day, asphalt can quickly heat up, even if the air temperature doesn't feel super hot to you. For example, if it's 85 degrees, then the blacktop temperature is 110. If the air temperature is over 100 degrees, then the blacktop can reach 160 degrees.

This is something we need to keep in mind when we are taking our pups for walks during the late spring through early fall. As a responsible pet owner, it’s always smart to test the ground outside before going on your daily walk. 

A good rule of thumb is to put the back of your hand on the ground for 10 seconds. If you can hold it there without burning, then it’s safe to take the pup out.

Some other preventative actions would be to take your daily walks either early in the morning or late in the evening, and avoid the hottest part of the day from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Also, just be mindful of hot surfaces like sidewalks, metal boat docks, or sand. You can also carry your pup across parking lots, buy pet shoes for them, or my favorite, push them in a stroller.

If you accidentally encounter some hot pavement, there are some signs that your pup has burned their paws. They could be limping or prancing across the pavement, refusing to walk, showing blisters or redness, and chewing or licking their paws.

Most of the time you can treat burned paws at home just by keeping the area clean, cool, and protected, but if blisters form, a call to your vet is needed.

Our fur babies rely on us to take care of them and watch out for their well-being, and this is one simple way we can show them our love.