When protecting dogs from harsh winter conditions, don't overlook the paws.
Rock salt (sodium chloride), a common ice-melting agent, can irritate pets' paws, mouths
and gastrointestinal systems and trigger seizures when ingested in large quantities.
Alternative ice-and-snow-melting products, with names like "Safe Paw," "Safe-T-Pet" and
"Ice Melt for Pets," may be less irritating, but still can pose risks. some include
magnesium, calcium, potassium or urea, which also came pose problems when consumed.
in large amounts, advises a senior toxicologist for the Animal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
"We worry that if pets ingest a fair amount, it will change the electrolyte balance in their bloodstream" on vet says. Amount the possible effects: dehydration, kidney failure,
heart arrhythmia and seizures.
What puts pets at risk? Piling product on sidewalks rather than sprinkling as directed, or accidentally leaving open bags where they're accessible to pets. In case of concentrated
ingestion, a urea or calcium-based product generally poses less risk than products with other common ingredients.
Vet's recommend wiping pets' paws down after walks and keeping fur between paw pads trimmed but not too short. If an animal exhibits lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, twitching
or trembling, call the veterinarian or Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435)
and have product label nearby for reference.