All-over-it dog lovers know the basics of keeping dogs safe in summer: Bring lots of water with you on walks, watch for the signs of your dog overheating and never, ever, ever leave a dog in the car even on days that don’t seem that warm.
But it might come as a surprise to even the most type-A pup owners that the very pavement beneath your dog’s paws could be sizzling hot. And hot pavement can have gruesome and painful consequences.
“Asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet’s paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible,” the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) urged. But sometimes it can be hard to tell.
Luckily, there’s a quick and easy test, courtesy of Moon Valley Canine Training, to see if the street temperature is safe enough for a walk with your dog. Put the back of your hand on the pavement, and if you can’t keep it there for five seconds, it’s too hot for your pup’s feet.
If the pavement fails the test, walk your dog when the temperature drops a bit (if he can wait) or stay on the grass. If walking your dog on hot pavement is unavoidable, there are things you can do to be prepared, like using special dog booties or dog paw wax designed to protect your dog’s sensitive paw pads from the heat.
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