Swiss police say dogs should wear shoes in heatwave

A Zurich City Police dog in booties Image copyright Stadtpolizei Zürich
Image caption Zurich City Police dogs are equipped with boots so that they don't burn their feet on hot walkways

Police in the Swiss city of Zurich are urging owners to buy shoes for their dogs, in order to protect their paws in the high temperatures, reports say.

According to the public broadcaster SRF, the police in Zurich have launched the "Hot Dog campaign", and are educating dog owners on how they can protect their four-legged friends in the hot weather, given that the overheated pavements can be painful on their feet.

A prolonged heatwave throughout Europe means that Switzerland has had one of the hottest summers since records began in 1864, with temperatures this July hovering around 30C (86F). Parts of the country have also experienced droughts, the SwissInfo news website reports.

According to Zurich Police Spokesperson Michael Walker, 30 degrees can feel like 50-55 degrees on the ground, and can cause particular discomfort to canines.

"When a dog walks on hot asphalt, he can burn his feet - just like a human walking barefoot," he tells SRF.

The Zurich City Police are advising owners to check before taking their dogs out on walks whether the ground is too hot, by measuring the temperature with the back of their hand for five seconds.

They are also advising pet owners against leaving animals in hot cars, and ensuring that they have enough drinking water.

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"Is it too hot? Then avoid routes in the sun on the asphalt, equip big dogs with 'booties', and carry smaller dogs!" it says on its Facebook page.

Hundreds of Facebook users have praised the campaign, which features pictures of some of the service dogs wearing protective footwear.

Zurich City Police says that the dogs also wear shoes while investigating break-ins, and to protect car seats when they take sniffer dogs inside a vehicle.

Image copyright Stadtpolizei Zürich
Image caption Dog owners are also advised to make sure their dogs drink lots of water, and are not left in hot cars

Reporting by Kerry Allen

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