Ring the changes
If your usual walking routes take you past a lot of treated paths, pavements and driveways that could have rock salt on them, try walking somewhere else for a while to give your dog a break. Go for more rural spots, where the roads etc. may not have been treated quite so assiduously with rock salt, or other non-dog-friendly salt products. Good places to try if you can’t reach the countryside so easily are parks, gardens and fields (check dogs are allowed in these places first), where they can enjoy walking and playing in softer, untrodden snow.
Don’t let your dog drink from puddles or streams in colder weather, as rock salt from treated frost and ice may have run off into pools of water, where it will cause harm if swallowed. Always carry your own water supply and some treats for your dog during a walk so that you can give him what he needs at any point along the route. Equally, take a blanket or towel to clean him off if he gets muddy, rather than allowing him to wash in potentially salty water. While on the topic of drinking, watch out for signs of dehydration as dogs use up extra energy staying warm in the winter and may need extra food and water to help him with this.
Treat the feet
Even without the risk of rock salt becoming embedded in your dog’s paws, winter walks can come with additional risks. Check the paws after every walk or time spent outside for any trapped salt grains or debris, cuts and evidence of soreness or irritation. Gently wash your dog’s feet when you get home, patting them dry with a towel. You might like to add a thin layer of petroleum jelly or a similar barrier before taking your dog outside. You can also get specialist dog booties for your pet to wear for added protection and warmth.