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Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience:  breeder/ vet assistant.
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Is road salt bad for dogs?

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What will road salt do to your dog? What are some signs I have to watch for...
While, I was out front on my driveway getting the snow off I let our lab roam around the yard and roadway forgetting about the road salt on the roads...
Following that incident we noticed our dog wasn't very active and not eating like he use to... He wouldn't go up and down the stairs and would whin when we petted him on his rear hind section...
It took him five days to recover....But he is back to normal today...
What happened? Tom
Hi Codster,

If it is indeed road salt, it may cause salt poisoning if ingested in large quantities. Most dogs don't ingest enough to be a problem. Salt ingestion can be harmful to your dog and can also cause severe dehydration as it also causes vomiting. You need to keep him hydrated. Replace water with pedialyte to keep his electolytes in balance if this happens again.

If you see a wobbly gait, collapse, disorientation, or coma, you will want to have your dog seen immediately as the salt content in the blood may be causing neurological problems.

Chemical de-icers can all be poisonous to dogs and there are many on the market. Most include a poison control number on the container for cases of children or animal poisoning. I suggest that you keep a pan of water handy during the winter that your dog can walk through to help remove excess road salt or de-icer chemicals from the paws and prevent any accidental ingestion.

Another possibility might be that he slipped on the ice and pulled something or even injured his back leading him to avoid stairs, walk gingerly and a loss of appetite due to pain. This actually happens more often then you think especially when ice is involved.

I hope this information is helpful to you.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank you, yes, he did throw up on two occasions and we wondered why... I do have another question now that we are talking about salts.... Is the Qik Joe Safe Pet Ice Melter any better for dogs feet or pads? My wife bought some for the outside stairs and I haven't used it yet...We bought it from Petco....

I believe it contains Propylene glyco at 1%. Propylene glyco can be poisonous to dogs, though this substance is used in some dog foods. It is being advertised as safe for dogs. I prefer to not use a product that is closely related to antifreeze around my dogs.

While it doesn't melt the ice and can create a mess in the house, we use kitty litter on the steps to provide traction and prevent slipping. I know people that use boiling water to get off most of the ice and then sprinkle kitty litter on the steps so if there is still some ice or the water freezes, the kitty litter provides traction.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Looking at this de-icer you are correct in the contents, urea, propylene glycol,and a colorant...Thank you for your second response.... I will be sending this de-icer back and buying a bag of kitty litter in it's place....No follow-up is necessary...Thanks again...I will be back.....

You are most welcome.

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