With Winter upon us, the crisp cold mornings can be a delight to go walking in. However, at this time of year, the weather and ground can play havoc with your dog’s feet.
If you walk your dog in public parks or along main roads, the local authority has a duty to keep paths clear and safe for pedestrians and drivers. This means putting rock salt down to reduce the impact of ice. Rock salt is a mixture of salt (sodium chloride) and grit and councils order about 1.3 million tonnes of salt every year.
According to the RSPCA, rock salt can be a danger to pets if they lick it from their paws or fur. It is difficult to say how much needs to be eaten for signs of toxicity to be seen. Even a small amount of pure salt can be very dangerous to pets. Ingestion can result in a high blood sodium concentration which can cause thirst, vomiting and lethargy, and in severe cases, there is a risk of convulsions and kidney damage. Most cases involve animals that have walked through gritted snow and then lick or chew it off their paws as they can find it irritating.
It is, therefore, important to thoroughly wipe your pet’s feet and the fur on his legs and tummy after a walk or time outside. If he is showing any signs of discomfort after possible exposure to rock salt, use a mild, pet-safe shampoo and warm water to wash the affected areas, and dry your pet’s fur completely with a towel after washing.
If you top up your car with antifreeze then be sure to clean up any spillages that may occur, even the slightest amount of antifreeze ingested by your pet can cause major health problems.
Walking with your dog in winter is fun and with a little extra care and attention, you’ll both enjoy those daily walks.
For more tips on keeping your dog safe this winter visit: