Chloride is the key component in the majority of ice melts. If you suspect your dog has consumed ice melts, you should call your veterinarian right away to schedule an emergency visit. This chemical should never be consumed. Your dog could swallow enough of the chemical to result in disease, such as kidney failure or even death, even if they walk on melting ice and lick their paws afterward.
Ice melts are frequently thrown on icy driveways and sidewalks during the winter. They are frequently used by people who are unaware of the potential harm they might do to their dogs. Ingesting ice melt can make your dog extremely ill as well as cause skin irritation or chemical burns on your dog’s feet.
If my dog eats ice melt, what will happen?
The weather is chilly! Winter in the United States means snow and ice for a large portion of the population. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) has some advice you should keep in mind regarding a frequent cold season item that could cause problems for your furry friends: ice melts, whether the snow has you daydreaming of making snow angels or wishing you were at the beach.
Different types of salt are frequently used to make ice melts. Common constituents include sodium chloride, potassium chloride, calcium chloride, and magnesium chloride. Even while pets don’t intentionally consume ice melts, they could be exposed if they lick their feet after passing through a recently treated area or eat snow that might contain ice melts.
While most ingestions are unintentional, some pets find that the salty flavor of ice melts appeals to them and will eat it straight from the container if given the chance.
When a pet consumes ice melts, stomach distress, vomiting, and diarrhea are the most typical symptoms. When vomiting or diarrhea is extreme, it can raise questions about possible dehydration. More significant issues may surface depending on your pet’s size, how much they ingest, and the particular kind of ice melt. An increase in sodium levels brought on by consuming too much ice melt might result in tremors and seizures. The product may also cause mouth ulcers if it contains calcium chloride.
Urea or magnesium chloride are often found in pet-friendly ice melts. Despite the fact that these chemicals are generally safer, they might still disturb your stomach. It is best to use caution when dealing with them as well.
In many areas of the nation, ice melts are required due to the danger of sliding and falling for both humans and our four-legged friends. However, there are a few things you can do to lessen the likelihood of issues for your pets:
- Do not allow dogs consume any salt or snow (particularly slushy snow) that has maybe been treated with an ice melt outdoors.
- As soon as your pet enters the house, wipe its paws with a moist cloth or baby wipes. Till their paws are entirely clean, try to limit paw licking. Additionally, it will lessen the possibility of skin discomfort brought on by melting ice.
- Paw wax or doggie booties are a great barrier to reduce risk to delicate feet if you have a sensitive dog whose paw pads are becoming itchy, cracked, or bleeding when the ice melts.
- Keep all packaging for ice melt out of the reach of pets.
You must get in touch with a vet or the APCC right away at (888) 426-4435 if your pet has consumed an ice melt or has shown symptoms of ingestion. For additional information about your pet’s safety in the palm of your hand, you may also download the APCC number directly to your cell phone or the APCC Mobile App.
Does dog ice melt damage their paws?
No of the weather, some puppies enjoy being outside and playing in the snow. But in order for your beloved buddy to enjoy the season safely, you should take precautions before venturing outside in inclement weather. Because ice melt or rock salt may occasionally harm your dog’s paws.
By removing ice, snow, and sleet, these compounds keep our sidewalks and streets slip-free. But regrettably, there are certain safety issues with these chemicals for pets.
Here are some things to be aware of regarding how salt and ice melt might impact a dog’s paws and general health, as well as how to prevent, identify, and handle any potential problems.
Yes, the rock salts that are used in ice melts can be quite harmful to pets.
A form of salt, such as sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, or calcium chloride, is present in the majority of deicers. Some might also contain different kinds of substances.
When walking, you run the risk of coming into contact with antifreeze, which can leak on the pavement near deicers.
We’ll concentrate on salt-based ice melts in this article even though all of these chemicals can be harmful to dogs.
Ingestion of salts is one risk that could result in a dog being ill (and in the worst case scenario, result in death).
Frequently used rock salt for melting ice can hurt, irritate, or burn paws.
When a dog walks over abrasive salt crystals repeatedly, their paw pads may become irritated. Or, a dog’s paw could be sliced by a sharp edge, causing a laceration and bleeding.
Furthermore, prolonged or repeated exposure to salt on a dog’s paws can result in extreme dryness, cracking, or even burns to the paw pads.
Any paw discomfort may cause a dog to lick or chew too much, which can aggravate the problem and cause an infection.
Here are a few pointers for preventing wintertime salt exposure (and salt damage):
- Avoidance. Walk your pet away from locations that are likely to have a lot of salt in them, such as the muck on the side of the road, if at all feasible. Avoid letting your dog consume slushy snow that may also include ice melt.
- Take little strolls. If your pet isn’t used to taking long walks and participating in outside activities in the cold, it could be better to limit their walking time. Long times spent outside could result in hypothermia and frostbite in addition to salt exposure during the winter.
- To protect your friend’s paws, use dog booties. Booties may do a lot to protect paws from salt, chemicals, sharp things under the snow, and ice balls that may form in the fur between the toes. It may take some effort and positive reinforcement to get a dog used to them, though.
- After a walk, wash the paws with water. Use a pet wipe or a towel. Or, to eliminate salt and chemicals, briefly immerse the paws in warm water and then dry them off with a towel.
- Apply wax or paw balm. Both ready-made alternatives and homemade dishes are available for dogs. Petroleum jelly can also be used in a pinch; just be careful that your dog doesn’t consume too much of it while licking their paws, since this could upset their stomach. Before going on a stroll, apply the balm to your dog’s paws to create a layer of defense against toxins and salt. When you get back from your walk, wash the balm off. After a stroll, many balms can be used to relieve itchy or dry paw pads.
- If you reside in an area where pets are welcome, use pet-safe alternatives for salt and urge your neighbors to do the same. Just bear in mind that you will probably need to keep an eye out for the city’s ice melts.
The most obvious signs of painful paws would be limping, taking cautious steps, or displaying any signs of discomfort while out for a walk or right after. Licking the paws excessively can also be a sign.
Whether or not your dog exhibits symptoms, regularly checking their paws in the winter can be an excellent method to monitor for any issues and spot them early.
Look for anything unusual, such as redness, dryness or cracking, bleeding, blisters or sores. Also take note if your dog cries out in discomfort after the paw inspection.
At-home remedies for minor dryness and irritation are available. Apply a calming balm made for paw pads after washing or rinsing your dog’s paws.
A lot of shampooing might be drying, so try to limit it. With order to eliminate salt and chemicals after walks, it is OK to gently rinse the paws in warm water.
The best course of action is to see a veterinarian for bleeding/cuts, paws that are plainly sore or infected, or any other mild to serious concerns.
The two nutrients sodium and chloride, which dogs require in their diet and are present in the right amounts in high-quality, nutritionally complete dog diets, are found in table salt.
However, consuming too much salt can be harmful and even fatal because it can cause salt poisoning.
Like people, dogs enjoy the taste of salt. As a result, some puppies will attempt to consume deicing salts straight from the container or the ground. If your pet fits this description, take extra precautions. Keep the container out of your dog’s reach and watch them closely when they’re outside to make sure they aren’t consuming salt.
The most frequent way that salt on a dog’s paws would be consumed is when the dog licks its paws after going for a stroll outside. This can be avoided by implementing some of the aforementioned suggestions.
In the worst situation, salt poisoning may result in coma, organ damage, seizures, or even death.
Simple stomach distress may result from milder cases of salt consumption. However, in the early stages, it could be challenging to distinguish this from salt poisoning, so it’s advisable to seek veterinarian attention.
- diarrhea and vomiting.
- decrease in appetite.
- excessive urination or thirst.
- ulcers in the mouth (depending on the specific compound ingested).
- weakness, sluggishness, clumsy gait, or collapse.
- seizures or tremors.
It’s best to call a veterinarian as soon as possible if you think your dog may have consumed salt or other deicing agents or if you’ve noticed any worrying signs. Early intervention is essential.
The best medicine sometimes is prevention. Since they can lessen the chance of ice melt building up on dog paws and being ingested by the dog, the above-mentioned advice for protecting a dog’s paws can also be very beneficial in preventing salt poisoning.
A vet visit is required as soon as salt toxicity is detected. Since salt poisoning can be fatal, it is recommended to err on the side of caution.
If your dog exhibits severe symptoms, such as convulsions, collapse, or any other indication of a serious illness, a trip to an emergency clinic should be made right away.
While calling the Pet Poison Helpline may also be helpful, getting veterinary care is still crucial.
Even while salt poisoning and paw damage are frightening, they don’t have to stop you and your dog from spending time outside in a winter wonderland. Just make sure to prepare in advance and take safety measures so that your winter romps are worry-free and enjoyable.
Do you worry about your dog’s paws or potential salt exposure? Today, make a telemedicine appointment or see us for urgent care.
Which ice melt is suitable for dogs?
Winter also brings holidays, stunning snowfalls, and outdoor activities like skiing, sledding, and snowman-building. It also offers icy, snow-covered streets and sidewalks. Crews and homeowners are out deicing surfaces as soon as the first flakes of snow fall. Additionally, uncleared areas might be slick and dangerous. Winter can damage your dog’s paws in any case. His paw pads and feet could be harmed by jagged ice and sharp snow crusts. It might be challenging to walk and play on slippery slopes created by icy yards and streets. Additionally, some of the most often used deicers, such as calcium chloride and sodium chloride, can harm a person’s paws and are hazardous if consumed. Who among dogs doesn’t lick their paws?
You want to take your dog outside, but how can you keep his feet safe? Dog boots are a common alternative, but it can be challenging to get your dog to cooperate with the time-consuming process of donning the booties. Even though it may be cold outside, your dog needs to go outside occasionally, whether it’s for a quick bathroom break, a stroll down the front walkway, or a trip across the patio to the backyard. Winter will persist for a while. Or perhaps it won’t be a brief halt because your dog enjoys the wonders of winter! He enjoys playing, but you don’t want to let him slip and fall in his booties during inclement weather or, worse yet, burn his paws on dangerous chemicals. You want him to feel free to experiment and have fun!
What do you then? A deicing product like Morton Safe-T-Pet, which is soft on your dog’s feet and free of hazardous chemicals, is a quick, simple, and secure option.
You should be concerned about more than just your personal canine companion. Let’s say you reside in an area where you are expected to keep the sidewalk adjacent to your property clean. It goes without saying that you want to ensure it is free of snow and ice, and using an ice-melting product is a wise precaution. However, as many ice melts are dangerous to our canine companions, even your neighbors’ pets could be in danger if you use a chloride or salt product. What then can you employ that is both efficient and secure?
Using a solution that melts snow and ice while being safe for pets enables you to be a good dog owner and a considerate neighbor. Morton, a company well-known for its table salts as well as its business and industrial products, has now created an ice melt that works well on ice and snow without endangering your dog. Morton Safe-T-Pet was created with the assistance of veterinarians to be a pet-safe solution to melt snow and ice. It melts ice and snow in temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit and is completely devoid of salt and chloride.
Use it to give a safe environment for your dog to walk without exposing him to dangerous components on your steps, front walk, patio, deck, and sidewalk. Those dog boots won’t prevent you from slipping and sliding, either. Use this ice melter to boot the boot. Your dog will appreciate it (and his paws will also be content).
Disclaimer: This product contains urea, a non-toxic substance that may cause dogs to drool and/or vomit. Consult your veterinarian if your dog consumes any strange objects that make them ill.