• Y.A.W.S Admin

Winter dangers! what you need to know about rock salt & antifreeze

It's mid winter in Britain and.....

Weather forecasters are issuing severe weather warnings up and down the country.

As we are seeking out our thermal clothing and having to scrape ice from car windscreens, we also need to consider how winter affects our pets in the same way the weather affects us.

Commonly overlooked things, like never leaving antifreeze laying about, it will poison your pets as well as other animals unfortunate enough to drink it.

Cats seem to like the taste of antifreeze and the chemical ingredient ethylene glycol, which is usually lethal if ingested.

Another product that we can use daily during winter is rock salt, consisting of grit and sodium chloride (salt), we use this lifesaving product to assist us to clear snow and ice from our roads and pavements, and helps humans stay on the move in the most adverse of weather conditions.

While the rock salt is relatively safe for us, it is a killer for our pets and other animals from poisoning through any ingestion.

The risk of rock salt poisoning on your pet is high if the animals paws aren't washed thoroughly and dried after every walk they have been exposed to any salt.

The pet ingests the rock salt while grooming themselves, done regularly you are risking a serious detrimental affect on your pets health, symptoms of reported cases of rock salt poisoning are dehydration, liver failure, pancreatitis and then death.

Also walking your dog on areas where the rock salt has been applied is harsh on your dogs paws, that may be a little softer from the wet of snow/rain together with the abrasive affect from the grit can cause paw irritations and compromising paw health problems.

Ways to avoid this, is to try to limit the time your pet spends on places that may have been treated with rock salt, and always rinse your dogs paws after a walk.

Even applies to your cats paws, if it's likely they have also walked on areas that have been affected by rock salt spreading.

So whilst your looking at your animals paws don't forget to check the animals pads for tears and splits and irritation that could cause an issue with painful paw conditions needing a vet visit.

Stay warm this winter and keep your pets happy and healthy by giving them extra care in the adverse conditions.

Part of The Y.A.W.S Care and Compassion year starting in 2018

First published Jan 2017

Edited revision 04/01/19

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©2017 by Yorkshire Animal Welfare Society.