Beware of de-icing salt, it is dangerous for dogs


When it snows, the first instinct of many individuals and municipalities is to pour road salt onto the roads to facilitate the movement of vehicles and pedestrians. If road salt is effective at melting snow and ice, road salt is a scourge for animals, starting with dogs who can ingest it while walking or suffer pests and injuries from simple contact. But that’s not all, because this salty product also poses a threat to ecosystems and human health. Let’s take a look at this case.

Beware of de-icing salt, it is dangerous for dogs

What is road salt? Why is this dangerous?

Commonly used in the United States since the 1940s and increasingly popular in France, de-icing salt is intended, as its name suggests, to combat snow buildup on roads and sidewalks. Inexpensive, it has the advantage of allowing Melting snow and ice to facilitate the rapid movement of vehicles and pedestrians. On the other hand, sand makes it possible to reduce risks by promoting better adhesion to the road of cars and other modes of transport.

If de-icing salt seems so magical, it remains a mystery to ordinary citizens. In fact, here it is not about pouring fine salt or coarse salt that we can use in our dishes on the tracks, but rather a dedicated product consisting, according to the meteorological situation, of:

  • Sodium chloride (which is very similar to table salt) when the temperature is above -6°C, which corresponds to its efficiency limit;
  • magnesium chloride, effective up to -20 ° C;
  • Calcium chloride, effective down to -30°C.

Admittedly, de-icing salt melts ice or prevents its formation, absorbs moisture from snow blocks or even promotes better adhesion to the road, but contrary to popular belief it is far from guaranteeing optimal safety for people and animals scattered on public roads. While it is – fortunately – rare to see humans licking tracks or walking barefoot in the snow, dogs can easily encounter this type of product through contact or ingestion. However, if contact can cause injuries, ingestion can cause bloating, loss of appetite, salivation, fever, vomiting, diarrhea, even bloody stools, or even death.

Dangers of road salt for dogs

You get it, salt defrosting is dangerous for dogs. It can cause injury to the animal on contact with it or have serious consequences if ingested.

risk of contact injury

Road salt is a snow removal solution that allows humans to move around better in snow or ice, but is a disaster for our canine friends. Irritating to the skin and mucous membranes, is recognized as a danger to the pads of our little companions, who are in constant contact with the Earth. In fact, these small protective cushions whose purpose is to absorb shock and promote good support and good balance can be weakened on contact. De-icing salt tends to seep into the epidermis, between the fingers and the hair, and thus irritates the tissues at the level of the paws. These irritations can be particularly deep in the case of prolonged contact and so quick to dry out the skin that it can be painful to hold.

Moreover, any part of the body that comes into contact with salt is exposed to the same risks. Thus, the genitals and anal parts of our dogs can be affected when they are resting and relaxing themselves, or even when they are in a sitting position.

When in doubt, after each outing in such a context, it’s best to avoid complications by cleaning your dog’s feet with lukewarm water as soon as they get home. It is then necessary to dry it with a soft towel. If lesions or wounds are noticed, it is necessary to disinfect the affected skin surface well and apply a dog care ointment – especially not for humans, children or cats!

In prevention, applying a protective ointment, tanning lotions or dog wax before going out is also a good idea to protect him from the annoyances of this type of product. The use of protective insoles can also be a protection solution for some dogs.

Be so engaged that these cleaning treatments are performed as soon as you return from a walk. Your little companion should not have time to lick his paws to remove the saltBecause he risks exacerbating skin lesions and taking this product that is harmful to his health.

Finally, let’s not forget that splashing ice or water containing de-icing salt into your dog’s eyes can cause serious eye problems.

Danger of death by ingestion

Dogs can ingest road salt when playing in the snow or simply by licking their wet paws after a walk. However, it is necessary to take care to prevent your little companion from swallowing this product, as it can be really harmful to his body. Salt is already dangerous for a dog, to the point where it can be fatal if ingested in large quantities. So de-icing salt poses a real danger, as does seawater or any other source of salt. A dog ingesting 4 grams of salt per kilogram is enough for ingestion to be toxic. Soon, the animal suffers from significant digestive disorders, such as diarrhea or vomiting, burning sensation and abdominal pain, and the condition can continue to worsen and irritate the gastric mucosa.

In addition to salt, snow also contains a whole load of dirt that can be dangerous for a dog. In a fragile dog, ingesting salt can be fatal.

If, after a winter walk, you notice that your dog is feeling unwell, contact your veterinarian. In the near future, and if symptoms remain mild, you can stop feeding him for 24 hours, but he should be given plenty of lukewarm water to drink. However, if the condition does not improve or if it gets worse, see your vet quickly, as your little companion’s kidneys or pancreas could be affected.

How do you reduce the risk of poisoning?

As you understand, it is best to avoid contact of your pet with the de-icing salt. Here are some tips for reducing the risks.

On the one hand, during your walks with your dog, be careful to avoid eating snow and prevent him from licking his wet paws or coat. Once you get home, clean his paws with lukewarm water and dry them thoroughly. Feel free to do the same with his hair if he’s been rolling in the snow. In case of injury, provide him with the necessary care. Remember that you can too Prevent risks by applying a protective ointment suitable for dogs before going outside to protect his pad.

If you use salt to defrost the outside, be sure to store it high up, in a safe place out of your pet’s reach. Ideally, avoid using it and Replace it with sand, sawdust, sawdust, ash, gravel or pure snow with elbow grease !

Finally, it should be noted that de-icing salt is not only dangerous to dogs and animals, but is also a product harmful to ecosystems. Actually, De-icing salt does not disappear and ends up in waterways, groundwater and more. By increasing their salinity, they affect ecosystems as a whole by depleting the oxygen supply of fish and aquatic organisms and by slowing the re-growth of scorched vegetation on contact.

And if that wasn’t enough to convince you, salt the way too It harms your vehicle because it accelerates corrosion. Not to mention that the high salinity of rivers has an impact on human health and increases the risk of developing high blood pressure and its consequences.


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