Skip to main content

PawTracks may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

How hot does concrete get in the sun? The answer might shock you

As much as dogs love going for a walk, standing on concrete during the summer can make it unbearable. It’s easy to overlook this painful detail since you’re probably used to wearing shoes, but this is why investing in dog paw heat protection is more than important for your pup’s well-being — it’s essential.

Simple accessories like dog paw nonslip booties can protect your fur baby’s feet from the heat, but they’ll no doubt take some getting used to. There are many products you can consider for your pup, but nothing beats moving your walk to the beginning or end of the day. The air and the pavement will both be less scalding — which will benefit you, too!

Why you should protect your dog’s paws

Do you know how hot concrete can get? In an informational video from the VCA, Dr. Sarah Hoggan measures the temperature of different surfaces on a 92-degree (Fahrenheit) day:

  • Light-colored concrete in the sun: 102 degrees
  • Light-colored concrete in the shade: 67 degrees
  • Blacktop in the sun: 111 degrees

This video was shot at 10:30 in the morning, so any surfaces in the sun have been exposed to only a few hours of sunlight. You can expect these numbers to skyrocket by midafternoon. These were the measurements at 3 p.m. that same day when the outside temperature was 97 degrees:

  • Light-colored concrete in the sun: 133 degrees
  • Light-colored concrete in the shade: 106 degrees
  • Blacktop in the sun: 129 degrees

She reminds listeners that dog skin and human skin react differently to heat, so you can’t expect your pup’s pads to blister or show the same symptoms. Many dogs don’t show discomfort or pain, either, so it’s up to you to keep their feet safe!

Pet Safety- Summer Temperatures of Asphalt and Cement

How to tell if the concrete is too hot for your dog

Although canine and human bodies react differently to heat, it’s always a good idea to wait to exercise if you feel uncomfortable in the heat. If you’re feeling unwell, your pup probably is, too. Even if you feel fine, though, your dog’s skin, body, and paws can be more susceptible to damage.

The traditional rule of thumb is as follows: Hold the back of your hand to the concrete surface for five to seven seconds. If you have to pull your hand away or are uncomfortable, it’s too hot to walk your dog.

The best dog paw heat protection

If your pup is going to be walking during a warm time of day, heat-protective dog shoes can do wonders for saving their paws. The Ruffwear Grip Trex Dog Boots are a top-of-the-line example that uses rubber outsoles to protect paws from both heat and slippage, making them ideal for hikes and more adventurous walks as well.

Many booties for dogs, including the Bark Brite All Weather Reflective Neoprene Dog Boots, are both weatherproof and puncture-proof. These shoes are fitted and stretchy, so they’ll conform to your dog’s paws for the best fit. Plus, with a reflective strap, you’ll be sure to be seen while out walking!

A pup-safe paw balm can provide moisture and relief for paws that have been exposed to heat or just need some extra TLC. You can use a product like this before walks as well, but this alone is not enough to keep paws safe from heat damage. If used as an extra precaution during a morning walk, though, it can be a great help.

a black and brown chihuahua in red boots sits on the concrete in front of someone
Juan Aunion/Shutterstock

Other heat protection for dogs

Once your fur baby’s paws are protected, the biggest danger is out of the way. However, there are still a few precautions you can and should take if you’re exercising your dog while it’s hot:

  • Always keep water on hand whether you’re indoors or outdoors, as heat can be exhausting (literally). Signs of heat exhaustion in dogs include drooling, dry nose, rapid heart rate, and confusion, among others. This is considered a veterinary emergency and should be taken care of by a vet as soon as you’re able to take them.
  • Keeping your pup in a cool, well-ventilated area will help them ward off heat exhaustion and other dangers.
  • You can also invest in dog sunscreen, which is ideal for the noses and ears of all breeds, as well as the bodies of short-haired and hairless breeds.

Whether you’re planning a summertime trip or just want to make sure your pup’s safe on your daily walks, keeping your dog protected from the sun will keep them happy and healthy for years to come. Making these adjustments for your furry friend’s comfort won’t take much time or money, either, so what are you waiting for? Enjoy the sunshine, pet parents!

How hot can concrete and asphalt get in summer?

On a hot day, concrete in the shade can average 70°F, but concrete in direct sunlight can reach 135°F or hotter. Concrete stores heat well, so it can warm to higher temperatures than most other materials and releases that heat more slowly.
Concrete and asphalt absorb a significantly higher amount of heat from the sun. At temperatures of 120°F, pet paws can burn in as little as five minutes. When the surface is at 125°F, burnt paws can happen in 60 seconds.
Asphalt typically gets 10 degrees hotter than concrete. Asphalt’s dark color absorbs sunlight which it releases slowly, while concrete’s lighter color reflects it.

Editors' Recommendations

Topics
Gabrielle LaFrank
Gabrielle LaFrank has written for sites such as Psych2Go, Elite Daily, and, currently, PawTracks. When she's not writing, you…
Does your dog drink a lot of water? Here’s when you should be concerned
It's usually just the weather, but you should look for signs of dehydration or excess thirst
A pug drinking water from a sink faucet

Ensuring your furry best friend gets plenty of water is one of the most important parts of being a pet parent. But how much water should your dog drink on a daily basis? Veterinarians claim the general rule of thumb is a simple equation: The majority of dogs require around 1/2 to 1 ounce (about 1/8 of a cup) of water per pound of body weight each day. Don't want to reach for your measuring cup? Make sure your pup has round-the-clock access to clean water, and everything should be fine.

That being said, if your dog empties their water bowl several times a day, or you notice their intake has increased drastically, you should probably keep a close eye on things. If your dog drinks a lot of water, you may be wondering, "Why is my dog always thirsty?" We'll share how to monitor your pup's water intake, the most common reasons your dog may be thirsty, and when you should speak with your vet.

Read more
Are Himalayan dog chews safe for your pet? Know this before you buy
These dogs treats are still trendy but should probably be eaten in moderation
A close-up shot of a pug standing in the grass with a bone-shaped treat in his mouth

What do blueberries, kale, and broccoli all have in common? In addition to being delicious, all three are part of the group of so-called superfoods. Unfortunately, there's no federally regulated definition for the term, but Harvard scientists claim food that "offers high levels of desirable nutrients, is linked to the prevention of a disease, or is believed to offer several simultaneous health benefits beyond its nutritional value" can be labeled superfoods. 

Just like you might add chia seeds to your granola or spirulina powder to your smoothies for additional vitamins and minerals, you also want to make sure your dog's food and treats pack a beneficial wallop. Made famous on Shark Tank, Himalayan dog chews have become one of the most hotly debated treats in the pet food game, which begs the question, "Are Himalayan dog chews as healthy as some people think?"

Read more
Can dogs eat celery? The do’s and don’ts you should know
Your pup will probably love a veggie snack now and then
Woman chops up veggies including celery for her dog

Your dog's favorite snacks might include dog biscuits, fancy chews, or even that bacon you dropped on the floor one time, but can dogs eat celery? The truth is lots of dogs like veggies, even bland ones such as celery. While you wouldn't want this green and healthy nibble to become a staple in their diet, you can absolutely give your pup a celery snack now and then — and they might grow to love it.

Can dogs have raw celery?
As omnivores, our pet dogs need a balanced diet of both meat and plants. That's likely because their domestic history made them into scavengers thousands of years ago when our ancestors were still in the hunter-gatherer phase. In modern times, this diet preference has huge benefits because you can throw in some healthful treats that will give your pup a nutrition boost and keep them full.

Read more