Ice, grit and your pet this winter (1)During the freezing winter months and early into the new year, the temperature can plummet and leave us feeling like we're ice skating on the roads. They can get really slippery and be a danger to cars and people walking.

During these times we always see the big yellow gritting trucks spraying out grit all over the road. While this is good for us so we don't fall over walking to the shops, this can be bad news for our pets.

The grit being spewed from the trucks is an irritant which can cause small cuts in the pads of your pet's paws and while this is a problem in itself, it can also lead to other, potentially more serious problems. The salt can become lodged in the gaps of their paws and be ingested during grooming, causing severe dehydration, liver problems and even pancreatitis in some cases. Not only this, the hard rock salt can also cut your pets paws and allow other harmful chemicals into your pet's system.

Dangerous chemicals such as antifreeze, which can be toxic for our pets can be absorbed through these small cuts in the pads of your pet's paws and this can be potentially fatal.

There are a few things you can do to help your pets during these wintery times. Here's a few ways to stay safe:

  • When walking, don't let your pet roam free around urban areas. They could wonder across heavily gritted roads and get hurt. Running around parks is fine but taking care on the streets can help prevent injury.
  • After your walks, you can always soak your pet's paws in warm water. This will wash away any salt or antifreeze left on the paw and stop your pet from ingesting it during grooming.
  • If you use antifreeze on your car windscreens, trying to clean up any spills or excess will always be a big help to any neighbourhood pets.

We'd love to help get the message around and keep all your pets safe this winter.