YAKIMA, Wash.-- Rock salt may make slippery sidewalks safer to walk on in the winter, but it can also hurt your dog's paws.
Certain types of salt can cause a burning sensation on their feet. The salt can also dry out the pads of their paws and cause the skin to crack.
Veterinarians say if dogs feel their feet burning they may also lick the salt off their paws, causing digestive problems including vomiting and diarrhea. Vets say owners just need to be more careful of where they take their dogs.
"I love it when people walk their dogs, it's good for the dogs, it's good for the people, so I don't want to tell anyone not to do that. I would just say try to go places where your dogs aren't going to get exposed to those things," says Dr. Teresa Gehlen of the Nob Hill Animal Clinic.
Gehlen says dog owners should stay off roads and sidewalks with rock salt on them. Instead bring them to places like yards, grassy areas, and dog parks. Keep any salt you might have at home picked up.
If you need something to use on snow and ice, you can find pet safe rock salt in stores or you can use sand or cat litter.