This really shouldn’t come as a surprise since people rarely (if ever) wash their shoes but according to a recent study, a dog’s paws are usually cleaner than the shoe soles of their owners.
Researchers at Utrecht University in the Netherlands examined the paws of 25 working service dogs as well as the shoe soles of their owners. Also, for the purpose of comparison, the team examined another group of family dogs and their owners as well. Not only did the results show that all the dog’s feet were cleaner but the dogs didn’t show any signs of diarrheal bacteria on their paws. Meanwhile, a human’s shoe sole contained Clostridium difficile.
“The dogs’ paws turned out to be cleaner than the soles of their shoes,” says Jasmijn Vos, a Utrecht Masters student, in a university release. “This makes the hygiene argument that is often used to ban assistance dogs from public locations invalid.”