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Pavement & Your Dog

dog 2Spring and summer are usually pleasant seasons in Connecticut. Winter’s freezing temperatures give way to balmy days and an occasional thunderstorm to make things a bit more interesting. It is the time of year when many people begin spending a great deal of time outdoors pursuing various recreational activities. Those who own a dog often take their beloved pets with them under the assumption that the activity will be just as much fun for their dogs as it is for them. However, if you are attending or participating in an event that will require your dog to walk on asphalt pavement, you might want to leave Fido at home.

Pavement & Your Dog – Asphalt Gets Hotter Than You Might Think

Many people assume that extremely hot pavement is only an issue in states such as Arizona or Texas. They mistakenly assume that the ambient temperature will closely reflect the temperature of the pavement. Therefore, they believe that asphalt pavement is safe for dogs unless the air temperature approaches three digits. Unfortunately, this misconception results in numerous instances of dogs receiving severe burns to their feet every year.

With its dark color, asphalt pavement absorbs heat from the sun and tends to retain it. This is why snow is slower to accumulate on asphalt pavement than on grass.

The difference between the air temperature and the temperature of the pavement can be significant. When the air temperature is a comfortable 77 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature of asphalt pavement can be 125 degrees. This is hot enough to burn human skin in just 60 seconds. At 86 degrees, the asphalt pavement can be as hot as 135 degrees, which is 4 degrees hotter than is needed to fry an egg on the pavement.

Your Dog Can Suffer Burns

The skin on your dog’s paws is not much different from the skin on your feet. If you have ever tried to walk on hot asphalt in your bare feet, you know how painful it can be. It is just as painful for your dog. However, if your dog is loving and obedient, he will try to obey you — even if the pads on the bottom of his paws are being severely burned. The burns may cause permanent damage or become infected.

Tips to Protect Your Dog

In addition to remembering that the temperature of the air is not a reliable method of estimating the temperature of the pavement, these tips can help you protect your dog from asphalt burns.

• Before taking your dog onto asphalt pavement, check the temperature. Press your bare feet or hands against the pavement for at least 10 seconds. If it is too hot for your comfort, it is too hot for your dog.
• The pavement’s temperature will increase throughout the day. Schedule activities early in the morning, typically before 8 o’clock.
• Look for alternate surfaces to walk your dog. Grass is the best surface, so consider driving your pet to the dog park for his exercise. Concrete sidewalks are often cooler than asphalt, but even concrete may be too hot. Always check the temperature before exposing your dog to a concrete pavement.
• Buy some shoes for your dog if he will tolerate them. Just make sure that they fit properly so that they will stay in place without causing discomfort.

Driveway Sealing Call Frank offers an extensive selection of pavement-related services, including sealcoating, crack repairs, infrared asphalt repairs, parking lot striping and asphalt paving.  We also install, maintain and repair concrete pavement. Our clients include homeowners, commercial property managers, churches, schools and retailers throughout the Connecticut counties of New Haven and Fairfield. We have been providing exceptional work at reasonable rates since 1998. If you have more questions about Pavement & Your Dog, or would like a free quote, you can submit the online form or call 1-800-DRIVEWAY or (203) 378-0080.

Driveway Sealing Call Frank specializes in commercial and driveway sealing!

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Our school and church parking lots were in serious need of repair. We have always heard of Frank’s great reputation and were not disappointed with the results. Our newly surfaced parking lot just made it through the worst winter on the books looking like the day Frank and his team finished the job.

St. James School, Stratford, CT

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