Is Using Rock Salt Dangerous to Pets and Animals?
Using rock salt on the roads is popular during the cold weather months. It is used to help melt the snow and ice so that motorists can get back and forth in safer driving conditions. Whilst the use of rock salt can certainly help the motorists it can be dangerous for pets and animals for several different reasons.
Rock salt is toxic to pets and animals
At any point in time during or after the spreading of rock salt it lies on the roads and pathways and so can br sniffed, swallowed and eaten by pets and small animals. The sodium Chloride in the rock salt can cause severe irritation to noses and paws that come into contact with dispersed rock salt. If licked, it can cause a reaction on the tongue which could include swelling and the risk of choking. The biggest problem is if the rock salt is ingested which can cause serious problems with their digestive tracts.
Many people use the rock salt on their driveways and sidewalks. This is where pets in particular are exposed to the prospect of contact with the rock salt and where skin reactions and ingestion problems become more likely.
So extra care should be taken when rock salt is being used at home and nearby pathways and pet owners should be alerted to its use.
When rock salt causes damage to concrete and tarmac surfaces
When traditional rock salt is used repeatedly on roads and walkways, it can damage surfaces and cause existing cracks in hard standing areas to worsen. This causes a hazard for pets and small animals and can lead to cuts, sprains and even broken bones.
The actual dispersing of rock salt can cause injury
When the trucks take the salt out on the roads, and it is dispersed, the velocity of the rock salt granules on impact can cause damage to eyes and in addition to this if there is contact with the eye the caustic nature of the salt can cause serious eye problems.
Take extra care with pets and small animals in spreading season
The dangers are obvious and in the short term are not likely to go away. It is therefore important to look after your pets and take precautionary action by trying to keep them indoors when spreading is taking place. It is also a good idea to keep pets on leads if possible when they are out so you can control any potential contact with the dreaded rock salt.
Brush the rock salt up and remove whenever you can to clear the area for your pets and other small animals in the vicinity. If you use rock salt yourself limit its use or look for an alternative.