Can salt on the sidewalks hurt your dog's paws?

CLEVELAND - This morning in the newsroom a few of our reporters were discussing whether or not ice-melting salt on the sidewalk can hurt a dog's paws. We didn't know the answer, so News 5 reached out to Dr. Rhonda Smith of Emerald Animal Hospital in Parma for some insight.

Pet owners shouldn't be alarmed
In 17 years in her field, Smith said she hasn't seen any injuries caused by salt on the sidewalks. "Pet owners shouldn't be alarmed while taking their dog for a walk," Smith said. She told us dog owners could considers paw booties or slippers as a precaution.

Accumulation of salt can lead to irritation
Smith said the chemicals found in salt used during the winter can lead to irritation, blisters or redness over time if the dog's paws are not properly wiped off after taking a walk outside. When dogs lick their paws in the summertime, it's usually from allergies. Smith said the same thing happens to your dog with salt in the winter.

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