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Grit Used On Icy Paths Can Be Dangerous To Dogs, Vets Warn

Grit Used On Icy Paths Can Be Dangerous To Dogs, Vets Warn

As the temperatures plunge and authorities attempt to clear the roads and pavements, be mindful of what this could mean for your pet.

Simon Catling

Simon Catling

As more snow continues to make itself at home in the UK, it's no surprise to see that the gritters have come out to help clear pavements of roads of snow and ice.

That might be reassuring news for some, but for those with pets - particularly dogs - it's something to be wary of.

A recent viral Facebook post from a veterinary nurse has reminded us that the current conditions are dangerous for dogs, not just because of the cold ground underfoot, but also because not all salt used to help thaw snow and ice from road sides is dog paw friendly.

Facebook / Caroline Pena

Images posted by the social media user show a dog's paw with its pads peeled away, leaving red raw flesh underneath in what clearly must be a very painful injury for the poor pooch.

The photos came with a message, encouraging short walks due to the plunging temperatures.

It said: "Good morning everyone! Temperatures are dropping so it's only right to do a PSA.

Your dog walks should be kept SHORT! Booties on your babies feet are essential for keeping frostbite and hypothermia away!"

The post continued and warned about the dangers of the grit being used to clear the paths and roadways.

It said: "Not all salt is pet friendly so wipe the feet's with a warm washcloth after every walk. I cant tell you enough how many dogs are coming in my hospital with their pads peeled off.

"If you wouldn't walk barefoot in the snow- don't make your pets do it in this weather."

Facebook / Caroline Pena

While the idea of buying your dog some boots is quite cutesy, you could really be saving them a lot of grief.

That's not all you need to consider when it comes to the grit either. It can also be potentially toxic for dogs if they eat it, and the RSPCA have urged owners to make sure their pets aren't putting it in their mouths, in addition to other tips on keep them clean and free from infection.

A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said: "We urge pet-owners to be cautious when grit is being spread on roads, as rock salt can be toxic to dogs and cats if they lick it from their paws or fur.

"This is because ingestion can cause a high blood sodium concentration which can cause thirst, vomiting and lethargy, and in severe cases kidney damage.

"The best thing to do is to thoroughly wipe your pet's feet, fur and tummy after they have been outside. If you believe your pet has ingested rock salt then contact your vet immediately."

The weather may look picturesque and perfect to get out for a walk in, but be mindful if you take your four-legged friends with you.

Featured Image Credit: Credit: Facebook / Caroline Pena

Topics: UK News, Animals