Beware the Hot Asphalt When When Walking Your Dog

Beware hot asphalt when walking your dogWith temperatures climbing during these hot and soon to be hotter summer months, it is important to take extra precautions when walking your dog. They may act like their paws are all-purpose combat boots, but in reality they are more like very callused feet. So when it is too hot for YOU to walk barefoot outside, take note. That asphalt and concrete heats up quickly.

Air temperature is not an accurate reflections of ground temperature. As surfaces like asphalt and concrete retain heat from the sub, their temperatures rise exponentially.

When it’s 77 degrees, asphalt can reach 125 degrees – the point at which skin destruction takes place in 60 seconds (J. Berens, Thermal Contact Burns from Street and Highways, Journal of American Medical Association 214 (11): 2025-2027). At 87 degrees outside, the surface temperature rises to 144 degrees! Remember, an egg can fry in five minutes at 131 degrees; now that’s HOT!

burnt-pads-dog-pawsAnd just like with a sunburn in humans, once you see the damage to the skin, it is already too late to prevent it. A dog’s pads may already be injured even though there is no visible damage yet. Some of the warning signs may include:

  • Limping or refusing to walk
  • Redness or darkening of the pads
  • Swelling or blisters
  • Excessive licking and chewing of the feet

A common guideline is called the “7 Second Rule.” If you can’t hold the back of your hand to the surface in questions for at least seven seconds without discomfort, don’t take your dog walking on it.

Some ways to help prevent such injury is to use paw wax or moisturizer. Paw wax is designed to protect your dog’s feet from hot surfaces and potentially harmful chemicals like road salts. Moisturizer can help with injuries like cuts, cracking, or peeling of the paws.

Musher’s Secret Pet Paw Protection Wax is one of the most popular and has received a lot of good feedback online. However, it may be wise to use this product year-round and not just on hot days to better protect your dog. You can find a wide variety of choices through

Related Resources:

DNA Testing in Dogs
The Dogs of our Founding Fathers