Don’t forget to wipe down your pooch after a winter walk, not just to remove snow and ice but also be sure to rinse off potentially toxic grit and salt from their paws.

The RSPCA says it’s difficult to say how much needs to be eaten for signs of toxicity to be seen, but even a small amount of pure salt can be very dangerous to pets.  Ingestion can result in a high blood sodium concentration which can cause thirst, vomiting and lethargy, and in severe cases there is a risk of convulsions and kidney damage. It can also irritate their feet.

Owners are advised to wipe their dog’s feet and the fur around their legs after a walk.  You can also use a mild, pet-safe shampoo and warm water to wash rock salt from the affected areas.

Experts say it’s vital that owners act quickly if they suspect poisoning as signs can be nonspecific and a blood test will be required to check the blood sodium concentration.

The Dogs Trust has also offered a warning about antifreeze, which is highly poisonous but tasty to dogs.  They say it should be keep well out of the reach of any pets and spills must be mopped up immediately.  The charity also has tips for avoiding potentially hazardous winter walks.

See more with this video by the Manchester Evening News