Image of someone petting a dog

by: Robert Sims

AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s important for dog owners to keep the pavement temperatures in mind during summertime in Texas.

The difference between air temperature and pavement temperature can be between 20 to 60 degrees apart and it’s easy for shoe-wearing folks to forget that touching the pavement can be painful if you don’t have foot or paw protection.

As a general rule of thumb, when you’re unsure if the pavement is safe for your good boy or girl, simply place your hand on the pavement for 10 seconds — if you feel pain, your pet will feel pain.

‘It’s so hot you can cook an egg!’

It’s an old trope, but it’s possible — maybe.

The protein in egg whites begin to denature at about 141 degrees. That egg won’t be ready to eat for a long time at that temperature, but the cooking process has started at this temperature.

With some pavement temperatures getting to 160+ degrees, consider what damage can occur to your pet’s paws without protection.

How we ‘guesstimate’ pavement temperatures for Central Texas

The known formula to determine exact pavement temperature relies on several factors including the previous day’s temperature, the current temperature, and the thickness of the pavement. While we track many weather data points, pavement thickness for all of Central Texas is not one of them.

Over the course of a few months, KXAN took hourly pavement temperature measurements in the 78701 zip code and compared the range of those temperatures in conjunction with that hour’s UV index. We were able to create a general formula depending on UV index and current air temperature to attempt to mirror the pavement measurements we took.

Our formula isn’t exact. And, it may not represent your area because of clouds, pavement areas near you, and other factors. But, it hopefully serves as a tool to keep your pets’ paws safe.

The formula is only calibrated for days with full sun. Estimated temperatures will fluctuate on cloudy and rainy days.

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