If you use, or come into contact with salt, on streets and sidewalks to get rid of snow and ice, it can be dangerous for dogs.
With more winter days ahead, crews across the Quad Cities will be using chemical deicers to keep streets and sidewalks safe. Many of those deicers like salt are dangerous for dogs, and can irritate their paws.
“So it may cause them to be itchy, potentially become a little bit inflamed, and sore, particularly if there is any wounds on their feet,” says Veterinarian Dr. Laura Crow.
She says the irritation will cause the dogs to want to lick their paws.
“Salt itself in larger quantities can potentially be dangerous and cause salt toxicity where their sodium levels can get too elevated, most of the time it will cause GI upsets so their tummy will be upset, they may have vomiting potentially diarrhea as well. It will tend to make them want to drink more water, because they will be thirsty from having so much salt in their system,” says Crow.
The biggest concern is the salt in driveways, or areas where the dogs live.
Crow says, “Where they have access to it for longer periods of time, and may be exposed to piles of salt, vs just stuff that has been spread out.”
There are some tips to keep your pets safe.
“When you are taking them for a walk when they are outside in your yard or environment where areas has been salted, keep an eye on them so they are not actually licking the salted application areas, and when they come in wipe, and rinse their feet off,” says Crow.
If your dog ingest large amounts of salt, and they have symptoms where they are acting confused or stumbling. Crow says those issues need to be addressed immediately and you should take your pet to the vet.