Protecting Your Dog’s Paws on an Escalator



Recently the San Francisco SPCA sent us a warning about a hazard that we know might surprise some pet parents: escalators. The warning noted that two SF SPCA hospitals, in the Mission and Pacific Heights, regularly receive emergency visits for escalator-related injuries. Dogs’ paws can get caught between the moving escalator steps, leading to severe wounds.

“Every month we see far too many escalator-related emergencies,” said Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, SF SPCA co-president. “Most of these cases involve small dogs riding escalators at BART stations or shopping malls, but dogs of all sizes are vulnerable. These injuries are very painful and expensive to treat, but the good news is that they’re completely preventable.”

Dogs who suffer from escalator-related injuries will often lose parts of their toes, and will sometimes need amputation to facilitate healing.

What’s the solution?

You’ve got three choices, depending on the size of your dog.

  1. If your dog is small, the SF SPCA is advising all pet guardians to carry their dogs on escalators.
  2. Alternatively, you can use the stairs or elevator.
  3. Finally, they recommend booties to protect your dog’s paws.

We want to remind you to be sure to check out Snuggy Boots with booties for your dog (and a suspender system that will help keep booties ON your dog so they can do their job!) Once your dog is up and moving with the Snuggy Boots system in place, he or she will forget the booties are on, and they’ll protect your dog from these and other injuries. And, if your dog should become injured in an escalator accident, be sure to visit your veterinarian or an emergency veterinarian right away.

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About Paris Permenter & John Bigley

Paris Permenter and John Bigley are the award-winning authors of over 30 pet and travel books as well as the founders and publishers of CatTipper and DogTipper.