Grit: Is It Bad For My Dog’s Paws?

Snow brings a childlike excitement to the best of us, including our dogs! But the grit really isn’t great for your pup’s paws! Read on for tips on keeping your dog’s feet in tip top condition throughout the snowy weather!

Wilma Grit Safety Tips

Gritters are going to be out in full force if the weather forecast is to be believed!

Road salt, or what we often refer to as ‘grit’ is used to lower the freezing point of moisture our snowy roads. It stops ice forming and causes ice or snow to melt meaning the roads are safer for vehicles and pedestrians.

But what if we were to walk bare foot through it like our dogs do? Well, it certainly wouldn’t be comfortable!

So, what’s the problem with grit?

Grit acts as a skin irritant and can be toxic if ingested. It can cause dryness, cracking and burning to your dog’s delicate paws. And what happens if a dog’s paw is irritating them? They lick… and lick, and lick, and lick! This is where grit becomes more sinister… Symptoms of grit poisoning include excessive drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures, coma and even death. So what should we do to protect our four legged pals?

Wash their feet

As soon as you return from your walk, give your dog a little pamper session with some nice warm, soapy water. Make sure you remove any traces of grit or salt with a cloth. If your dog is lower to the ground, give them a fur and belly wipe too so they don’t take it upon themselves to clean up and potentially ingest the toxins.

Avoid high grit areas 

Some dog owners are able to simply pick their dog up and carry them around high grit concentration areas to keep their paws safe.. The same cannot be said if you are the lucky owner of a larger breed! But if you can bundle your pup into your car and drive straight to the nearest park, this may be the one time of year you can get away with the lazy option!


Invest in a paw balm or wax or you can even use coconut oil as a natural moisturiser if your pup’s paws are looking cracked or dry. If your dog’s paws are cracking badly, it may be worth keeping them indoors to prevent an infection.

Dog boots

Some prefer to go down the prevention route and purchase dog booties! This saves you the clean up post walk but it may take your dog a while to adjust to the feeling of enclosed feet!

Be wary of puddles

Try and prevent your dog drinking from puddles as they may contain grit which should not be consumed. If you are ever in any doubt over whether your dog has consumed grit, we always recommend you check in with your vet.

Last but not least… 

Get out there and make sure you enjoy the snow with your pet!

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Work, family and social commitments mean that there often aren’t enough hours in the day to give our pets the attention that they deserve. Click here to find out how Tailster can put you in contact with hundreds of pet carers in your local area, meaning that you can rest in the knowledge that your pets are being well looked after.

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