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Impact of Dogs Ingesting Road Salt

Charlie's Mom
March 11th, 2008, 10:54 AM

I'm new to the site. I have a 14 month old lab who, as I've heard is pretty typical, would enthusiastically ingest anything he comes across. Recently I read an article (either Toronto Star or Toronto Sun) where the writer suggests that both he and his neighbors dogs got cancer from ingesting road salt. I think he said it was lymphatic cancer. I have been searching for those articles and more information online but haven't had any luck.

I was wondering...

1. if anyone else has heard this or something similar.
2. can anyone point me in the direction of more information?
3. HOW on earth can I get my insatiable lab to stop treating the snowbanks as a buffet?! Is it muzzle time? :(

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!

March 11th, 2008, 11:18 AM
3. HOW on earth can I get my insatiable lab to stop treating the snowbanks as a buffet?! Is it muzzle time? :(

I'd train the command LEAVE IT. there are many suggestions on how to do this on the site. check out the dog training section for some tips.

as for the salt issue, have you asked your vet about it? I'm sure a vet could point you towards more info on it.

welcome to the forum btw! we'd love to see pics of your lab.

March 11th, 2008, 12:00 PM
We don't walk the dogs this time of year. Too dangerous for us and them. Too many sidewalks not plowed. Roads and sidewalks are too slippery, cars have less control. It's just so not worth it. We're lucky that we have a large back yard for them to romp and play in and don't have to worry about salt.


shane 123
March 11th, 2008, 01:02 PM
Our vet always cautions everyone to rinse off the dog's paws after a walk on a road that has salt on it. It's supposed to be caustic and maybe in the long run it could cause cancer.

March 11th, 2008, 01:21 PM
We are lucky since they do not use road salt where we live but I still don't allow my dogs to eat snow when we walk them because of the gravel that's used. They are kept on leash so it is easy to enforce the "leave it" command.

March 11th, 2008, 01:23 PM
I just found this but don't have time to watch the video right now. I hope it is of some help to you...

Charlie's Mom
March 11th, 2008, 01:53 PM
Thanks everyone. That link was to an article which I think is about the same guy I mentioned in my first post. It seems he has invented a safe alternative to road salt. Too bad they're not using it in my area! There's no doubt that Charlie's snow-munching must end. I will keep working on the training, and will talk to the vet too - we've got an appointment coming up.

I will also check out the training tips on this site. Charlie is actually quite good with the 'off' command, for instance with litter on the side of the road, but he doesn't seem to make the connection when it comes to eating snow. I usually have to keep him on a shortened leash when we are in salty areas to ensure that he is not eating as he goes. Hopefully he will learn soon, I feel so bad not being able to let him sniff around freely on his walks!

Thanks for your help!