Rock Salt and Ice Melt Dangers To Your Dog

Rock Salt and Ice Melt Dangers To Your Dog, Part 2

Did you know that ice melt can be harmful to your dog?

In part one of this series, we discussed the dangers or rock salt and ice melt, how it worked, effectiveness, and how it can be painful to your pup's feet and paw pads.

In part two, we look at the side effects of consuming ice melt and rock salt and some tips you can take to avoid this canine winter hazard. 

Ice Melt and Rock Salt Is Harmful To Your Dog’s Stomach

Ingesting large amounts of the salts (sodium chloride, potassium chloride, and magnesium chloride) in ice melt and rock salt can turn a fun wintery day home with your dog into a highly stressful emergency run to the veterinary hospital. 

When a dog ingests a large amount of salts, it can alter the electrolyte balance in their system leading to lethargy, weakness, seizures and in severe cases, death.

If you're concerned that your dog has consumed an unhealthy amount of salt, contact your local veterinarian immediately.

Warning Signs

Veterinarians see patients who have consumed rock salt and ice melt a lot during the winter months.

Knowing the warning signs can be the difference between a favorable or non-favorable outcome. Here are some things you should be on the lookout for: 

  1. Increase in drinking water and urination
  2. Nausea, vomiting, and gastrointestinal upset
  3. Eye irritation
  4. Drastic drop in blood pressure
  5. Body and muscle weakness & abdominal pain

Contact your veterinarian immediately if your dog experiences these symptoms after having been outside. 

Tips for Keeping Your 4-Legger Safe

There are a few easy things you can do to ensure your dog is safe from the harmful effects of rock salt and ice melt. Here are a our tips to help you avoid rock salt and ice melt this winter.

  • If you currently have rock salt in your home or garage, make sure to store the salt out of reach from your dog. If you want to go the extra mile (and we suggest you do), keep all of your ice melts in an airtight and sealed dog-proof container.

  • Lay a tarp down over sidewalks and walkways before the storm hits and then lift them up and pack them away after the storm passes. The ice will break up and come off the tarp as it is lifted up. They are re-usable and easy to use!

  • Get some ice shoe spikes for your shoes and attach them to walk over ice to reduce or eliminate the need for using snow-melt products.  You can usually find these at a sporting goods store. They are designed to fit over your shoes, come in different sizes, and help you maintain your traction on the ice!

  • Avoid bringing your dog to areas where you know rock salt or ice melters have been used. Many outdoor public places, such as parks and schoolyards, use rock salt to melt the snow along sidewalks and walkways.  If those places are unavoidable, consider using dog shoes so there is an actual barrier between the ground and your dog's paws.

  • Inspect and clean your dog’s paw pads every time you come home from a winter stroll to make sure there is no rock salt stuck between paw pads.  

  • When you walk or play outside with your dog this winter, try to avoid letting your pup drink from puddles of melted snow. Many puddles of melted snow can contain ice melts and rock salt brine, so it’s best to avoid bringing them near puddles altogether. This can be especially hard if you’re playing off leash in an open field, so make sure to bring a fresh bottle of water and a bowl so your dog has a clean source of water to drink outside.

  • Fit your dog with dog booties. Just like you, your dog can wear snow shoes! 

Remember to keep your dog's paw pads moisturized with our organic and all natural Healing Balm from 4-Legger. Our certified organic healing balm is specially formulated to soothe, heal and moisturize your dog’s paw pads quickly and safely. Our customers rave about how quickly it worked to heal their dog's dry skin on their paw pads and nose.

At 4-Legger, we’re passionate about improving the health of your dog, which is why we create pet products that are safe, natural and certified organic.