Hot asphalt during warm weather months in New England poses a danger to your dog’s paws. There’s a simple test you can do to check whether the pavement is too hot for your pooch. Simply touch the pavement with the back of your hand. If you can’t hold your hand on the pavement for seven seconds, then it’s too hot for your pooch’s paws.

Even if the air temperature feels pleasant to you, remember the ground can get much hotter than the air and it absorbs heat fast.  In addition, some surfaces get hotter than others. For instance, studies have shown when concrete reaches a temperature of 104F, brick can get as hot as 110F and asphalt 124F.

The indication of burned paws varies depending on the severity.  If the paw is red and swollen that indicates a 1st degree burn.  If clear blisters are visible; 2nd degree burn, and if the skin on the paw appears charred, 3rddegree burns are likely.  Consult your veterinarian in all of these instances and apply first aid by cooling the paw under cool (not ice cold) water and bandaging the paw and/or protect it with a clean sock.

You can avoid burns by taking these simple measures:
Do the “seven-second test” before walking your dog.
Walk your dog on grass.
Walk your dog early in the morning or late in the evening when ground temperatures are cooler.