We're beginning to feel the full effects of Iowa summer weather as this past week (June 19) has been HOT.

We've seen 3 days in a row of temperatures above 90, heat index warnings in various parts of Iowa, and the wind feels like a dog is breathing on you. With warm weather hitting Iowa in full force, it's important to remember it's your job to keep your animals safe. Make sure they have a shaded place to cool down if they're spending time outside and give them plenty of cold water to drink.

The same thing goes if you're taking your dog for a walk. You know that asphalt feels hot when sitting in the sun all day but were you aware that it doesn't take much for asphalt to reach 125 degrees? It doesn't even have to reach 80 degrees outside for asphalt to become unbearable to walk on.

Hot Pavement

I would say most people are fairly comfortable outside at 77 degrees. It might be on the warmer side for some or you could get hot if you're doing manual labor, but generally, humans can enjoy time outside at 77. Did you know at only 75 degrees with the sun shining, asphalt can reach 125 degrees, according to Caring Vets Animal Hospital?

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It doesn't take much for asphalt to become painful for you to walk on. Obviously, the warmer it gets the hotter the asphalt becomes. At 85 degrees, asphalt can reach over 140 degrees.

Imagine your dog walking on asphalt that's 140 degrees. You wouldn't want to walk barefoot on a surface like that, nor does your dog.

Prevention Tips

There are easy ways to determine if the asphalt is too hot for your dog to walk on according to Caring Vets Animal Hospital

  • Place the back of your hand on the asphalt for 5 seconds. If it's too hot to keep your hand there for 5 seconds, it is too hot for your dog to walk on
  • Take your dog for a walk earlier in the day or later at night. Before 11 am or after 6 pm, the ground should be cool enough for your dog to walk safely
  • Let your dog walk on the grass near the asphalt or sidewalk you normally walk on if you can't avoid walking during the hottest parts of the day
  • Purchase dog booties to protect the dog's paws if you are walking during the hottest parts of the day

Summer can be one of the most fun times of the year in Iowa. We get to be outside enjoying our favorite outdoor activities. If your dog likes spending time outside, it's your job to make sure they can do so safely. Do you know a quick way to put a damper on your summer? Having to make an emergency run to the vet because your pet burned their paws.

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