Asphalt is too hot for your dog’s paws when you cannot stand on it with your bare feet for 10 seconds or more. At 125°, skin destruction can occur in just 60 seconds. Always check the asphalt prior to allowing your pet to walk on it.
Paws will get burned.
TEMPERATURE MEASURING FOR ASPHALT
In the southern states during the summer the thermal temperatures can get quite hot. An infrared thermometer was held about one foot off the ground. Pet sitters should purchase such a device for animal safety and not walk them when surfaces are too hot.
You can get this unit at Amazon for under $30. The accuracy is surprisingly good. You can use this tool to test bath water, in-car temperatures, etc.
The way this data was measured was on a 95° day in South Florida. Temperatures during the peak overhead sun reached temperatures of over 140° F on black asphalt, and in mid afternoon they exceeded 120°. This is still above the pain threshold for most dogs. Also tested was a red brick sidewalk, but it was only approximately five degrees cooler than asphalt.
Most of the time, we walk our animals on the sidewalk, so I thought the surface of the white concrete would be cooler due to its lighter color and reflect heat more. But as you can see, it was still dangerously hot. Using the chart below, you can see between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., the cement was over 115°. This is still a painful experience for many dogs. The adjacent grass was over 105° in the sun midday. Temperatures in other southern states can even be much higher. In general the darker the surface, the more heat it will absorb and more tolerant for the dog.
|Time||Air Temp||Grass In Shade||Grass In Sun||Cement||Red Brick||Asphalt||UV (max 16)|
|7 a.m.||76° F||70° F||74° F||78° F||78° F||80° F||1|
|8||77° F||72° F||77° F||80° F||81° F||81° F||2|
|9||88° F||78° F||85° F||93° F||95° F||89° F||4|
|10||90° F||82° F||86° F||99° F||105° F||103° F||8|
|11||92° F||85° F||98° F||105° F||115° F||121° F||10|
|12 p||93° F||88° F||100° F||112° F||125° F||130° F||12|
|1||94° F||90° F||103° F||115° F||130° F||135° F||14|
|2||95° F||91° F||105° F||125° F||135° F||140° F||14|
|3||95° F||91° F||105° F||124° F||134° F||140° F||14|
|4||95° F||89° F||102° F||118° F||131° F||137° F||10|
|5||93° F||87° F||98° F||112° F||122° F||131° F||7|
|6||91° F||85° F||96° F||106° F||110° F||122° F||4|
|7||90° F||83° F||86° F||100° F||105° F||112° F||0|
|8||87° F||80° F||80° F (dusk)||95° F||98° F||103° F||0|
|9||84° F||78° F||78° F (dark)||90° F||92° F||93° F||0|
What Is A Safe Temperature To Leave A Dog In A Car?
Remember the rush of hot air when you opened your car door on that hot day last summer and sat down on an equally hot seat? When the temperatures were measured on the pavement, it was a good idea to measure the light-gray, leather seat. The surface reading was 152°! This is way too hot for any animal’s paws and emphasizes the need to carry a towel or blanket to cover the seat before you let your pet inside of the car or even let bare skin touch it.
The vehicle alone had an air temperature of over 130° sitting in the daytime sun, so this is further proof that leaving an animal in a closed care is very dangerous and most likely against the law. Even with the windows craced open, the car temperature can rise 20 to 30° higher than the air temperature outside. A 70° day outside can feel like 90 to 100° inside a locked car.
Another surprising measurement was the actual thermal heating of the dogs’ coat. On a 95° day, the top of the coat on a Belgium Shepherd reached over 125°. Even though a dog’s fur is to keep them warm in the winter, it also acts as an insulator in the summer months. This insulator can break down over time causing problems. Hot temperatures on the surface of their coats warms their fur and eventually reaching their skin. High-temperature exposures can easily cause heatstroke for a dog being in the sun.
Preventing Dog Paw Burns When Asphalt Is Too Hot
The chart above explains why we need to be very aware of the temperatures we walk our dogs at. Sometimes these times coincide around lunch or after work for the best time to walk. Many people will feel it is obvious that they won’t need to walk their dogs, but getting the exercise and socializing really does both of you good. So what can you do to prevent burns?
- Try walking your animal early in the morning or late into the evening during the hot temperature months. This allows the surface to cool down.
- Should your dog decide to walk on the grass, let them. They are obviously in pain and forcing them on the hot surface is cruel.
- Walking your dogs as often as possible on cement will help build up calluses on their pads. This will act as an insulator providing another few degrees of protection and help prevent blisters.
- You can also moisturize their pads to keep them soft and pliable and less prone to cuts.
Treating A Paw Pad Burn Injury
Should your dog get a burn or blister, here are some steps to be taken to prevent further injury. Being prone to infection, dog paws need immediate response and is critical if you detect any burns or cuts.
- Using an antibacterial soap, wash the dog’s paw and pat dry with a soft towel.
- Spray the injured pad with Bactine© on the burn immediately. This is an excellent antiseptic and has Lidocaine that is a good anesthetic which will take away pain. Betadine© is the same chemical, but in an unbranded larger bottle. It is safe for people and animals and has been used for over 50 years.
- Now apply an antibiotic ointment of er the injured area and wrap with gauze. Pull a sock over the foot or leg to prevent any chewing of the wrap.
- Take the dog to your veterinarian to have him looked over and maybe prescribe a mild antibiotic to prevent any possible infections.
Summing It Up
Please be very careful on hot sunny days with your animals whether it be walking or riding in a car. Your animal will let you know if they are uncomfortable and try their best to adjust. Please look for such signs from them. Being aware of the temperatures that can harm your pet will keep them safe.