Veterinarian: Some types of ice melt dangerous for dogs

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rock salt and other types of ice melt are very helpful after a storm like Thursday’s blizzard, but what you may not know is that some types can be dangerous for your dog.

According to local veterinarian Dr. Mark Paradise, the products can cause pain and even make your dog sick if he or she licks its paws.

“One harm, a simple harm is that it just hurts the pet’s feet because some of these rock salts that you see are jagged,” he explained. “They have thick pads, but it still hurts when it’s sharp like that.”

Dr. Paradise said rock salt can also be toxic for a canine. Some key words to look out for are calcium and sodium chloride.

“At small amounts, you’re going to see gastrointestinal upset,” he said. “At larger amounts, there could be much more catastrophic problems that happen. Gastrointestinal can turn into neurological and some of these pets, if they ingest enough of these chemicals, can die.”

In order to find pet-safe products, make sure to read the label closely.

“You can look on the back and see there’s no warnings for children, which is one of the big things,” Dr. Paradise added. “If it says that it’s not safe for people or children, you can guarantee it’s not safe for your pet.”

Alternatives include sand and kitty litter, which won’t melt the ice, but they’ll provide traction and they’re pet safe.

Dr. Paradise also recommended washing your dog’s paws with warm water once you get back inside to wash away any ice melt and melt any snow or ice that may be stuck between its paws.

If you have a consumer problem you need help solving, contact the Call 12 for Action Center Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. The hotline is (401) 228-1850.

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