Paws and Hot Asphalt

During a recent walk with my dogs, I decided to take along my infrared thermometer.

During the summer, it is important to remember that the pads of a dogs paws are subjected to hot surfaces outside. Since there are no sidewalks where I live, our dogs walk on asphalt, gravel or grass.

I took a few measurements during a walk today. It was sunny around 2:45 PM EDT, and I found that the temperature of the asphalt can reach 140 F. It became increasingly cloudy during my walk so the asphalt cooled off a bit.

The gravel along the side of the road is preferable at 100 F. Grass in much better, even if it is dry and brown. I measured 85 F for dry grass. Green grass was cooler at 80 F. In the shade, the green grass measured 70 F. Even concrete in the shade was better than asphalt at 90 F.

By contrast, at 7 AM EDT, the asphalt temperature was 76 F.

These readings show that asphalt can be harmful to your dog’s pads. Today the air temperature was in the low 80s. If it was above 90 F, it follows that asphalt can be greater than 140 F and could burn dog’s paws.

A simple check is to place your finger tips on the asphalt for a few seconds to see if it’s comfortable.

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