Road salt makes streets safer after ice storm, but can harm pets' feet

MID-MICHIGAN (WJRT) (02/06/19) - Wednesday's ice storm brought out the salt trucks to deal with slick conditions

The salt is good for motorists and pedestrians, but it can be harmful for pets.

Little Bentley, a chihuahua mix, was decked out in a nice warm sweater, ready for a bathroom break outdoors. He's protected against the cold, but he also needs protection against the salt he walks on.

"For the pets, we want to make sure, if we've salted any of the areas that our pets are going to be on, whether we are taking them for walks, which everybody likes to do since the weather is till nice, we want to make sure that we are drying those feet off when we come in," said Lynn Holmes of the Humane Society of Genesee County.

She said winter can be rough on paws.

"It can be very very painful for them, because then their paws will start cracking, obviously, if they get enough on that," Holmes said.

The salt on the their paws can lead to causing bigger issues.

"It would not take much at all for them to ingest and start to having problems," Holmes said.

She said signs that a pet may have ingested salt include excessive drooling, vomiting and even seizures.

"If you see some of the signs, of the poisoning or things that can happen from salt, certainly want to get into your vet's office," she said. "But the easiest thing to do really and truly is be safe and keep your animals, make sure those feet are wiped off and we are keeping salt that we're bringing into the house ourselves, to keep that cleaned up."

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