Are Rock Salts Hurting Your Pet?

Rock Salts May Melt Snow, But Could Be Hurting Your Dog On A Walk.

When snow starts to fall, many homeowners reach for a bag of rock salts to put down before the snow piles up. We’ve discussed the advantages and disadvantages of putting ice melts and rock salts down on our website before, but we have not discussed the effects it has on our pets. If you decide to take your dog for a walk through the neighborhood, make sure to avoid the parts of the sidewalk with salt on them.

rock salts from snow removal hurting your petWhen dogs lick or eat small amounts of rock salts, it can cause serious stomach irritation. If your dog ingests a large amount of ice melt, the electrolyte balance in your dog’s body can be seriously altered. When a dog’s electrolyte balance is messed up, they can become lethargic, weak, and in serious cases have seizures. Consuming rock salt can also cause severe dehydration and liver failure. There have been reports of fatal incidents occurring because a dog has ingested rock salt.

When you are done walking your dog, make sure to clean their paws off. Dogs may lick their salt covered paws, which will cause irritation. If you let your dog outside, make sure they are not drinking from puddles that may be contaminated with ice melt, or the same symptoms mentioned above can occur. If your dog is suddenly stopping on walks, make sure to check the bottom of their paws. The pads on their paws can get dry and even crack in cold weather. When they step on ice, it’s like rubbing salt on an open wound!

Need To Put Rock Salt Down? Here Are Some Tips:


If you decide it’s necessary to put rock salt on your driveway or sidewalk, we encourage you to take preventative measures to ensure your dog does not get hurt. If you would rather not put boots on your dog, or kitten mittens on your cat, make sure to follow these tips:


  • Avoid walking your dog in areas that have been salted
  • Don’t let your pet drink from puddles, especially ones on the street or sidewalk which may have been contaminated by rock salts.
  • Keep any salt bags (if you have them) out of your pet’s reach.snow removal tips to protect your pet
  • Some products that are labeled “Pet Safe” may not really be pet safe. There are no regulations on rock salt that prove the claim “Pet Safe”. As a precaution, assume that all ice melts can be hazardous to your pet.
  • Wipe your pets paws down after a walk to make sure any exposure to ice melts are gone. There are products such as the Paw Plunger that help do this, but a simple towel or damp cloth will do the job.
  • If you have put down rock salts or other ice melts, make sure to hose them down if the weather is warm enough, or sweep them away if they have not melted. Sweeping rock salt into your grass will kill your lawn’s ph level so be mindful of that as well.


All Natural Deicers


There are all-natural deicers on the market. In a last ditch effort to remove ice from the patio, driveway, or walkway, there are options like Safe Paw. Safe Paw does not use salt in their deicing formula, making it safer for our pets. Also, online there are home remedies for deicing that have less sodium and no additives.

Think about this the next time you decide to put salt down: If you wouldn’t walk with your bare feet on ice melts, why would you let your dog? If you still want to put salt down to prevent ice from forming on your driveway or sidewalk, remember that the best way to remove snow is a snow shoveling service or snow removal service, like the ones we provide at Bolton Lawn Care. We only use salt or ice melts if we are instructed by our clients, and we tend to discourage the use of them. We can clean your driveway up without the use of chemicals that may harm our dogs. Sign up today for our automatic snow removal service, and worry less about shoveling your driveway. Enjoy your snow day, and let us do the hard work for you.

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