Magazine article USA TODAY

Protect Fido's Feet from Heat and Burns

Magazine article USA TODAY

Protect Fido's Feet from Heat and Burns

Article excerpt

It is September, and that means ... it is still summertime, and since temperatures have passed the century mark in the Inland Northwest, the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University, Pullman, has issued a hot pavement advisory for pets.

In the absence of any wind and in direct sunlight, asphalt surfaces can reach 125[degrees]F when the air temperature is only 77[degrees]. At 86[degrees], the asphalt temperature jumps to 135[degrees] and, at 87[degrees], the asphalt rises to 143[degrees]. Human skin destruction can occur in 60 seconds on black pavement at 125[degrees].

"One thing pet owners can do is to press the back of their hand against pavement," explains Raelynn Farnsworth, head of the veterinary teaching hospital's Community Practice Service. "If you can't hold it there for a full seven seconds, it's too hot for a pet's paws.

"The good news is, unless incapacitated or restrained in some way so they cannot escape high surface temperatures, most dogs' pain response will not let them stay on a hot surface. So, the key to not getting a pet's paws burned is application of common sense and situational awareness. …

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