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Keeping pet paws safe amid blazing hot surfaces

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — As summer temperatures continue to soar, an alarming issue has emerged on hot days: the scorching heat of walking surfaces.

Pavements, sidewalks, and other outdoor paths have become potential hazards during midday walks, with their surfaces reaching extreme temperatures that can cause harm to pets and humans alike.

During the peak of summer, the combination of intense sunlight and high ambient temperatures can cause walking surfaces to become extraordinarily hot.

Asphalt and concrete, commonly used materials for roads and walkways, have a particular propensity to absorb and retain heat.

As a result, their surface temperatures often exceed the surrounding air temperature by a significant margin.

The consequences of walking on these blazing surfaces can be severe. Direct contact with scorching pavements can lead to painful burns on the pads of your dog’s paws.

The risk is even more pronounced for vulnerable or elderly dogs, whose sensitive skin is more susceptible to burns. Additionally, prolonged exposure to extreme heat while walking can contribute to other heat-related illnesses in pets.

If you have to go outside on a walk during the middle of the day, it is important to keep a few tips in mind.

The most crucial tip is to be aware of the surfaces the dogs are walking on. When it gets to 100 degrees outside, concrete and asphalt surfaces can become hot enough to cause burns within minutes, if not seconds, on your furry friend’s paws.

While grass and dirt surfaces are still around 100 degrees, most healthy dogs can handle this heat on their pads as it is a surface they can be on without burn risk.

Furthermore, utilizing shaded pathways can significantly reduce the risk of burns from hot surfaces. Seeking shade whenever available, using umbrellas, or walking under tree-lined streets can provide temporary relief from the direct exposure to the sunbaked pavements, but are not a permanent solution.

Municipal authorities and urban planners are also actively seeking solutions to combat this issue.

Strategies such as incorporating lighter-colored materials for walking surfaces, implementing heat-reflective coatings, or integrating cooling technologies into pavements are being explored to reduce surface temperatures and mitigate the risks posed to pedestrians and pets.

As the summer heat persists, it is essential to remain vigilant and prioritize personal and pet safety.

By staying informed, planning walks wisely, and taking necessary precautions, individuals can minimize the potential dangers associated with walking on scorching surfaces.

Remember, a few simple steps can go a long way in ensuring a safe and enjoyable summer experience for everyone.