Cat and dog owners listen up! The ‘Beast of the East’ has brought us a myriad of transport issues and woes, but now it’s after our furry friends too.
It turns out the rock salt grit scattered on our streets to prevent ice can be very bad for cats and dogs.
The chemicals which stop ice forming can burn soft tissue on the animals’ paws, making them raw and painful.
The photo below is circulating online accompanied with a warning about grit. The photo is actually of a dog who’s been burned by very hot ground in the summer, but demonstrates a similar burn:
Speaking to UNILAD, a spokesperson from the RSPCA said:
Grit may cause pain or irritation in your pets paws, especially if it becomes compacted with snow. The salt content in grit can also make it hazardous to pets if they ingest it.
If ingested it can cause vomiting and lethargy and in severe cases there’s also a risk of kidney damage. Most cases involve animals that have walked through gritted snow and then lick or chew it off their paws as it can cause irritation.
Grit is often actually rock salt which is a mixture of salt (sodium chloride) and grit.
Rock salt lowers the freezing point of moisture on the road surface, so it stops ice forming and causes existing ice or snow to melt.
Here’s one of our documentaries exploring the vets who help look after and treat homeless dogs as part of the Trusty Paws Clinic:
The RSPCA continued:
It’s best to wash your dog’s paws in warm water and dry them thoroughly after a walk in the snow. This removes any compacted snow and prevents salt from gritted snow irritating their paws.
It’s also best to wash their tummy and undercarriage of any snow too to prevent them from being able to lick and ingest any rock salt.
If you suspect your pet may have ingested rock salt contact your vet immediately and follow their advice.
Wherever possible avoid walking dogs in areas where the snow has been gritted and always thoroughly wash paws following a walk.
Today, (March 1), the Met Office have warned us to brace ourselves, as the worst blizzards since 1962 are set to hit our shores.
The Met Office claimed the amount of snow forecast could be the biggest single fall since the notorious winter of 1962-63, when some areas of the country were blighted by snow and ice for more than three months.
The Met Office has predicted up to 50cm of snow will fall across the southeast by tomorrow, with Scotland facing a similar dose of the stuff.
Take care of yourselves and your pets!