Vet Issues Urgent Warning to Dog Owners of the Dangers of Walking Your Dog in Icy Conditions This Week


Over the weekend, parts of the UK saw barrages of snow, as temperatures plummeted to well below freezing.

But now forecasters are warning Brits to prepare for an ‘ice rink Monday’ after melted snow refroze overnight, meaning pathways and roads will be slippery, and covered in black-ice. 
The sudden drop in temperature and continued weather warnings across the country has prompted Sean McCormack, Head Vet at, to share a warning with dog owners. He is urging people to look out for rock salt and anti-freeze on roads and other surfaces this week, as they can be extremely dangerous if consumed by dogs.  

Please find below comments from Head Vet at 

“Rock salt,  a mixture of salt (sodium chloride) and grit, is an effective way to reduce ice build-up on roads during the colder seasons. 

“However, road salt can be extremely dangerous, it can irritate your dog’s skin, causing dryness, cracking and even burns to their pads. Even more dangerous is if they lick it from their paws or fur, as they put themselves at risk of ingesting the potentially toxic chemicals. 

“Symptoms of salt poisoning include drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, and loss of appetite. In more severe cases, it can result in seizures and even death. This is why dog owners need to clean their pet’s paws after coming home from a walk in the winter months”. 

“Chilly winter mornings can lead to frosty windscreens, and many car owners will use antifreeze to clear the ice.  As the ice melts from your car, the antifreeze will mix with the water, which can be harmful if your dog likes to drink from puddles. 

“Antifreeze can cause damage to your dog’s kidneys, even if just  a small amount has been ingested. 

“The dangerous chemical in antifreeze is ethylene glycol, which has a sweet taste that dogs enjoy. So it’s important that if you see any liquids leaking from your car, keep your dog away and clean them up straight away. 

“Once consumed, dogs become wobbly or fall over. The back and kidney area can become painful, and they may experience vomiting, dehydration and increased urination. After a couple of hours severe acute kidney failure sets in and they display signs of lack of appetite, diarrhoea, drooling, halitosis and seizures. 
“Along with the freezing weather comes another danger for our pets; hypothermia, which is an extremely dangerous drop in body temperature. 

“Hypothermia can be life-threatening for dogs with short and thin hair, small dogs, puppies, elderly dogs, and dogs with chronic illnesses. 

“​​The first symptom of hypothermia is excessive shivering, which is followed by lethargy. If your dog is displaying signs, call the vet immediately, and move them to a warm area, then warm the body by covering them in hot water bottles, blankets or towels. 

“Trying to keep your pets toasty warm in the home also comes with its own risks. Household heating systems might be comforting to dogs, but they put dogs at risk of overheating and burning their fur and skin. 

“Gas heaters and fireplaces can also cause smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning. To protect your pup, limit the time they spend in front of the heater and never leave them alone in a room or area of the home with a heating system switched on”.

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