Zurich police suggest dogs wear shoes

The summer heat turns asphalt into a paw-burning torture. Zurich City Police

Police in Zurich have launched a campaign to encourage dog owners to protect their pets’ paws from the searing asphalt of high summer. 

This content was published on July 31, 2018 - 15:07

“When a dog walks on hot asphalt, he can burn his feet – just like a human walking barefoot,” Zurich Police Spokesman Michael Walker told Swiss public radio, SRF, on Tuesday. An air temperature of 30°C (86°F) can feel like 50-55°C (122-131°F) on the ground, said Walker. 

This Zurich police dog is all booted up. Zurich City Police

Like much of Europe, Switzerland has seen record temperatures during a prolonged heatwave this July, while rainfall has been sporadic.

+ Switzerland had a much hotter than average July

So as part of their Hot Dog campaign, police officers from Zurich’s canine unit are out speaking to dog owners to explain how hot weather – and overheated pavements – can be especially painful for animals. 

To check if the ground is too hot, police suggest placing the back of a hand on the asphalt and holding it there for five seconds. If it’s too hot for the hand, then it’s too hot for a paw. Small dogs should then be carried, and larger ones should wear special protective booties, they say.

Such shoes are also worn by police dogs investigating break-ins, where there might be broken glass or other sharp hazards on the ground. At the same time, the shoes protect car seats when a sniffer dog has to inspect a vehicle.

Police are also reminding pet owners about the importance of providing enough drinking water and the dangers of leaving an animal in a vehicle on a hot day.


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