Vets warn about winter dog walking

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Salted sidewalks are a common sight during winter. It keeps us from taking a tumble on slippery ice, but vets say if you have a fury friend…you might want to think twice.

“When dogs walk through it, it can be very irritating to their paws. And so, what you might see is that when they’re putting their paws on the ground, it stings,” says critical care veterinarian Caroline Tonozzi. “They can also lick it off their paw, and if they lick it, it can be very irritating to their mouth and their [gastrointestinal] track.”

Painful paws and sour stomachs can take a toll on dogs, but they still need their exercise and fresh air year round. Life-long pet owners say to pay close attention while walking them.

“You can tell when the dog’s getting bothered either by cold or salt on their feet. They’ll start to walk differently. They’ll step funny like they’re stepping on something hot even though it’s cold,” says pet owner Randy Markward.

But thankfully, there are some ways to avoid all this. Most of them are remedies you can do right at home.

“If they had licked it, you can try to rinse their mouth out with some water. I would suggest to wipe their paws with a warm, wet wash cloth, or even baby wipes would be fine before they come in from being outside,” says Dr. Tonozzi.

Outside is usually a dogs favorite place, so take those extra steps to make sure their steps are safe.

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