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Hot Pavements and Hot Cars During the Hot Seasons



June 2021 was the hottest June recorded in 127 years. While many of us can stay indoors in our air-conditioned homes, zoom-ing in to work from afar, we still need physical activity, to run errands, and deal with the heat on occasion. Being a pup owner means that we like to take our dogs with us when we are doing running around but you need to be careful. 

Leaving your pet inside a locked vehicle is an extremely dangerous practice. While a trip to the hardware store is undoubtedly more fun with your furry co-pilot, it’s best to leave Fido at home unless you’re headed to a pet-friendly facility. In general, it is safe to leave your pet for 5 minutes or less when the temperature is between 32-70 degrees Fahrenheit outside. Lock the car door, crack a window, and park your car in a shaded spot within your visual distance. It’s easy to get sidetracked or end up in an extended conversation. A car is essentially a heat conductor and will rise to temperatures above 115 degrees within 30 minutes. Dogs can experience signs of heat exhaustion when their internal temperature rises to 103; panting, drooling, muscle tremors, abnormally colored gums, weakness, or vomiting can all be signs of heat exhaustion or heatstroke.  

If you witness an unsupervised pet in a vehicle, write down the make, model, and license plate information. You can attempt to locate the owner by stopping inside the nearest business and asking for help. If the owner isn’t promptly located, the next step is to call the authorities. Many states issue fines or have other legal consequences for leaving pets in cars. Only consider breaking into the vehicle or attempting to rescue yourself as a last resort.  

In our pet-centric world, it’s not difficult to find stores that welcome well-behaved, leashed pets as guests. Some even offer their visitors special treats and attention. It’s a good habit to always call ahead, as even some chains have local restrictions on what pets are allowed inside. Here is a list of most retailers to be pet-friendly and encourage their patronage: Petco, Home Depot, Lowes, Tractor Supply Co, Nordstrom, The Apple Store, Bass Pro Shops, Pottery Barn, LUSH, Orvis, Old Navy, The Gap, TJ Maxx, Petsmart, and Macy’s. Others permit pets on outdoor patios. This does depend on the area so the best bet is to call ahead and double check.

 pet emergency disaster preparedness

What about the safety of pets on hot pavements? 

 When you are out with your pet how do you protect your pups from the hot pavement while getting their zoomies out? The darker the road surface, the more sunshine, and heat it will absorb. That makes black asphalt one of the more dangerous surfaces on which to stroll. Their artificial turf also absorbs a considerable amount of heat. White concrete or grass, with its cool dirt underneath, are safer places to hike. One good rule of paw: if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for your hound! You can test the safety of the surface by placing the backside of your hand against the surface. Wait 7 seconds. If your hand is uncomfortable and you need to move it away, it is too hot for your pet’s feet. An ambient temperature of 77 degrees Fahrenheit will heat the pavement to 125 degrees. At 87 degrees, it reaches a scalding 143 degrees! Ouch!  

Skin destruction and burns occur at 125 degrees in just 60 seconds. First degree burns of the paw pad epidermal layer result in redness and pain but tend to resolve in a few days. Pain control and cool compresses can help soothe the affected area. Second and third degree burns damage more layers of the skin and subcutaneous tissue. These burns result in blistering, peeling, infection, pain and sometimes permanent loss of sensation to the affected area. They are best treated by a veterinarian and can take weeks to months to heal. 

You can protect your dog’s feet by steering clear of midday walks, choosing safer surfaces, looking for shaded areas, or providing mechanical protection for their paws. Paw balms such as Musher’s Secret and PawGuard with Lanolin can provide a bit of a barrier from the elements and soothe dry, cracked paws. They are best to nourish feet but won’t provide the protection skin needs on a hot day. Rubber booties or those with a latex bottom are best outdoors. Not only do they provide traction, but the rubber soles protect delicate feet. Find a pair that fits well without causing constriction or chafing. Ideally, booties or socks are machines washable. I like RUFFWEAR – Grip Trex, Kooltail Dog Socks, and Pawz Rubber dog boots. The latter is affordable and 100% biodegradable, so they are environmentally friendly, to boot! 


At Pet Butler, we love to keep everyone’s pet safe. With the heat during the summer or even by cleaning up their waste. That is why Pet Butler is dedicated to providing clean yards for you and your pet to make as many memories as possible. If you want to learn more about the services we provide, follow the link here!     

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