Asphalt Pavement & Dogs
With temperatures frequently breaking the 100-degree mark, summers can be brutal in the Las Vegas area. Many dog owners recognize the dangers that hot weather can pose for their pets, but not everyone is aware that a dog’s paws can be severely burned while walking on asphalt pavement on days with relatively low air temperatures.
Asphalt Pavement & Dogs – Why Pavement Can Hurt Your Dog
Asphalt pavement is famous for its rich, dark color. As you probably know, dark colors absorb more heat than light colors. When exposed to sunlight, asphalt pavement heats up quickly and holds the heat for several hours after the sun sets. This effect can be exacerbated by low humidity levels and low wind speeds.
To give you some idea of how much the temperature of the asphalt pavement can vary from the air temperature, consider these calculations.
• When the air temperature is 77 degrees, the temperature of the pavement can be as much as 125 degrees.
• With an air temperature of 86 degrees, the pavement can reach 135 degrees.
• Increasing the air temperature to 87 degrees can yield a pavement temperature of 143 degrees.
To put these temperatures in perspective, you could fry an egg in under five minutes on a pavement with a temperature of 131 degrees. Human skin can be burned in as little as 60 seconds at a temperature of approximately 125.5 degrees — and so can the pads of your dog’s paws.
Your Dog Has Little Protection Against the Heat
The pads of dogs’ paws are extremely sensitive. They contain a great many nerves that provide feedback to help judge whether the ground is safe, assist with the dog’s balance and detect hazards. Furthermore, the skin on these pads is typically no thicker than the skin covering the arch of your foot. It is true that some dogs will build up callouses or thicker skin if repeatedly exposed to harsh conditions, but they can also develop infections or suffer nerve damage in the process.
How to Safeguard Your Dog
To keep your dog safe, you must make sure that the pavement is not too hot. If you cannot walk on the pavement barefoot or hold the back of your hand to the pavement for 10 or 12 seconds, it is too hot for your dog.
The time of day matters; around sunrise, the pavement will usually be about as cool as it is going to get. After 9 a.m. or so, the temperature of the pavement will begin to climb, continuing to increase throughout the day. Temperatures will start to fall after sunset, but it can take several hours for the pavement to become safe for your dog.
If possible, do your dog a favor and avoid asphalt pavement. Walk your dog on grass or leave him at home if you are attending an all-day event that will be held on an asphalt parking lot or similar pavement.
You might want to buy some shoes for your dog. There are many different types on the market that offer varying degrees of protection for your dog’s sensitive paws. However, you must make sure that the shoes fit properly, so you might want to consult your veterinarian for advice.
Affordable Striping & Sealing is an asphalt company that genuinely care about our customers — and their pets. We offers a full range of services, including asphalt crack sealing, sealcoating, road markings, curb painting, parking lot striping, bumper blocks and traffic sign installation. We are dedicated to customer satisfaction and excellent work. To request a free estimate, simply submit the online form or call (702) 222-9009.
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