What is Rock Salt?
Rock salt is a mixture of salt (sodium chloride) and grit, and is used to help de-ice roads in winter.
How does it harm my pet?
Pets can be harmed by ingesting the rock salt after a walk by licking their fur and pads when grooming themselves as it can be an irritation. Just a small amount of pure salt can be very dangerous to pets.
What are the symptoms of Rock Salt ingestion?
It can cause a high blood sodium concentration which can cause thirst, vomiting, lethargy, and in severe cases there is a risk of convulsions and kidney damage.
How can I best prevent ingestion during winter months?
It is really important to thoroughly wipe or ideally rinse your dogs feet and the fur on their legs and tummy after a walk outside. If they show any signs of discomfort after possible exposure to rock salt, use a mild, pet shampoo and warm water to wash the affected areas, and dry your dogs fur and pads completely with a towel after washing.
Should I contact my vet?
Any animal suspected of ingestion of rock salt must be assessed by a vet immediately. This is important as signs can be non-specific and a blood test will be required to check the blood sodium concentration. Immediate veterinary treatment will be needed to rehydrate the dog and stabilise their sodium levels.