Owners are being reminded of the dangers de-icing products pose to their dogs this winter.
The colder weather has prompted Sean McCormack, head vet at tailored dog food brand www.tails.com, to warn people to be cautious of antifreeze and rock salt — a mix of sodium chloride and grit — on roads and driveways.
“Rock salt can be extremely dangerous to dogs, as it can irritate the skin, causing dryness, cracking, and even burns to the pads,” said Sean.
“If dogs lick it from their paws or fur, they can ingest the chemicals, which can be toxic.”
Symptoms of salt poisoning include drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, and loss of appetite, and in severe cases, seizures and even death.
Sean advises owners to wash their dogs’ paws when returning home from walks.
Another winter hazard for dogs is antifreeze, which can cause acute kidney failure, even if only a small amount is ingested.
“Many car owners use antifreeze to clear ice from their windscreens,” Sean explained. “As the ice melts, the antifreeze will mix with the water, which can be harmful if your dog likes to drink from puddles.
“The dangerous chemical in antifreeze is ethylene glycol, which has a sweet taste that dogs enjoy.”
Signs of antifreeze poisoning include wobbliness or falling over, pain in the back and kidney area, vomiting, dehydration, increased urination, lack of appetite, diarrhoea, drooling, halitosis, and seizures.