Gritted and Salted Roads

Gritted and Salted Roads

Gritted and Salted roads

When its icy and snowy the ground becomes very dangerous and to combat that our local councils tend to make the surfaces of roads and pavements either gritted or salted to help us with our footing.  While this is very helpful to us as bipeds with poor balancing skills, it can pose a couple of problems to our four-legged friends – including CATS!

1)  The salt, if left on the pads of the paws can burn and cause irritation.

2)  When the animal licks his paws to remove the salt he will ingest it and this can be extremely toxic and may poison the animal.  As the salt levels within the body increase, the kidneys will be put under extreme pressure to try to remove the salt from the body and can, in severe circumstances, prove fatal.

PLEASE WASH THEIR PAWS on return from your walk or if the cat has been out.  While I am sure they may well not like having their paws washed, it is most certainly preferable to the alternative.

If the irritation is severe enough, it should be classed as a chemical burn.   Anytime that you become aware of a chemical burn, the faster you are able to deal with the problem, the less damage will be inflicted on the animal.  Many people who know their dogs are sensitive to salt/gritted surfaces advocate the use of lavender in the cleaning water to help soothe the skin.
Once the paws are clean, they should be dried off as normal and inspected to ensure that the surface of the pad is not damaged in any way.  If the skin is not broken but you sense there may be any kind of irritation, its a good idea to wash the foot further to ensure you prevent absorption of the salt any further into the layers of the skin.

Aveeno Moisturising Cream or Aloe Vera are both excellent preparations to apply to the skin to soothe and help repair any damage – but please try if possible to stop your dog licking it off (a pair of children’s socks will probably come in very handy here!)


If you are ever in doubt as to the severity of a burn, please phone your vet

If you are looking at an easy way of washing the paws “on the go” check out our Mud Daddy review: