Look after your dog’s paws as snow and sleet hit Cambridgeshire - de-icer, salt and grit can be fatal to pets
- Credit: Archant
Dog owners are being urged to take care of their pets paws as the winter weather warnings hit because road gritting salt and de-icer can be fatal if digested.
Wash your dog’s feet after getting back from walks to make anything potentially fatal is removed then check paws for injuries like cracks and sores and if needed use a protective balm or even booties.
A Pets 4 Homes spokesman said: “Road salt and grit are the biggest potential danger to your dog’s paws.
“They contain a chemical that can lead to burns on the skin if exposed to prolonged contact.
“Antifreeze and de-icer products for cars can be another problem- these are highly poisonous to dogs and also have a sweet smell and taste that can encourage pets to ingest them.
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“If your dog gets de-icer on his paws, he might lick this off. Avoid walking your dog over gritted surfaces wherever possible, and if your dog has been into contact with anything wash and dry their paws off thoroughly after your walk.
“Ice balls forming between the pads and toes of the feet and clinging to the surrounding hair can be very uncomfortable for your dog and potentially lead to ice burns.
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“Check the paws for ice balls while out walking if your dog suddenly seems uncomfortable or starts limping.
“Dogs that have very hairy feet are particularly susceptible so keep the hair around their paws trimmed down in the winter.”
“Small and delicate dogs are particularly at risk like Chihuahuas and other fine boned, small toy breeds.
“Dogs that are particularly lean are another example of dogs that are more likely to suffer from paw problems in the cold- sight hounds such as greyhounds, lurchers, whippets and similar breeds.
“Even if you have a very robust, outdoorsy type of dog that is just made for the cold- such as a Siberian husky or other Spitz-type of dog, don’t forget to give their feet a check over every now and then as well.
“A general check over when you come back from a walk is always a good idea.”
TV presenter Cesar Millan, a renowned dog behaviourist, urged people to buy dog friendly anti freeze products.
His website said: “There are pet friendly de-icers available for use on your own sidewalks and driveway.
“Immediately after a walk, wash your dog’s paws with warm water to help prevent them from ingesting any salt or chemicals that may be on their paws.
“While outdoors, do not let your dog eat slush or drink from puddles near heavily treated roads and sidewalks.
“Dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia just as people are so use common sense as to how long your walks can be.
“Keep them short and watch for signs of hypothermia such as shivering, anxiety and moving slowly.
“Winter can be tough on our dog’s feet but good grooming and protecting the paws by using a balm or booties will go a long way to keeping your dog’s feet healthy.”
• Check Pets 4 Homes advice
• Check Cesar Millan’s advice
• Mushers balm canl protect paws