As school years end for a few months and people find themselves with more time or reasons to go out, the weather is getting much hotter and that affects the many surfaces we walk, run, and take our pets out onto. As a proud owner of a hyper dog myself, I love taking her on walks, or W.A.L.K. if you are reading this aloud. Not funny? Sorry, I'll move on. But as the pavement heats up, I'm not okay with taking my dog out when I know the pavement is hotter than the temperature outside which can burn her paws. So, let's dive into this, shall we?
The general rule of thumb for waking an animal is: if you cannot stand on the surface for more than twenty seconds, your pet should not be walked at that time or on that surface.
This statement is supported by many animal advocate groups including PETA, a group that sometimes has debatable public comments. As reported in an article from the Washingtonian:
"The best way to know is to place either the back of your hand or the sole of your foot on the ground where your dog will be walking, and hold it there for 20 seconds. If you can do that without flinching, you’re good to go."
For this reason, PETA put out fliers on the sidewalks to warn pet owners. And they are not the only ones who stress testing the surface before a pleasant walk.
"Pavement, asphalt, wood, metal, sand and car or truck surfaces can become very hot during the summer months. These materials absorb heat from the sun and can stay hot for hours even after the sun has gone down. Temperatures on these surfaces can exceed 145° F!," Banfield Pet Hospital stresses. They also point to multiple signs of harmful or painful burns being:
. red/pink colored paw pads (paw pads are normally a light neutral or brownish color).
. licking or chewing of the feet.
. missing pieces of pads/ blisters
If you see any of these symptoms please contact your vet immediately. As owners, we owe it to our pets to make sure that they are taken care of and not put in situations where they find themselves injured within our control.
When should you take them out then? Try the morning or later in the evening, but not in the middle of the afternoon. This time is when the sun is highest and at its most powerful.
We wouldn't want our feet burned so let us not burn theirs. Believe me; I've already burnt mine chasing after my dog barefoot at four in the afternoon (she got out of the house and took off). It's not fun on either end.