It only takes a few seconds for a seemingly innocent walk with your dog to turn into a medical emergency. Dog paws are in danger during hot weather, but there is one simple test that dog moms and dads can do to protect their pet’s feet from severe burns.

The pavement and sidewalks in warmer weather can easily and quickly heat up to dangerous temperatures. A good rule of thumb is this: If it’s too hot for you, if the ground hurts your feet, it can harm your dog, too.

Here’s a simple hack to test the pavement:

Take the back of your hand and place it on the pavement for about 11 seconds. If you feel uncomfortable, then imagine what your dog would feel!

Here’s an image of a dog who walked on hot pavement and his owner was unaware the dog was suffering:

Also, don’t assume your dog will let you know when he’s in pain. A dog’s pain threshold is much higher than ours. Often a dog will not feel pain until much later or when it’s more intense. It doesn’t mean he’s not injured.

Let’s all keep our precious dogs cool and safe this summer. In addition to keeping their paws off hot surfaces, you can walk them on a grassy area, during cooler times of the day, or in the backyard. There are even protective boots and paw protectors you can purchase.

Here are more summer safety tips to keep our canines happy, healthy, and safe: