Dumbarton's dog owners have spoken of their worries regarding their pets’ safety as gritters spread salt and grit to deal with the recent cold weather.

With a recent cold snap, and temperatures plummeting, gritters have been out and about in the local area trying to keep pedestrians and motorists safe on the icy roads and pavements – however the rock salt found in grit can be toxic to man’s best friend.

Scottish SPCA have advised that salt can irritate animals’ paws and may upset your pet’s digestive system if ingested.

They also state that if the weather is particularly bad, you should try to keep your dog’s walk as brief and make sure cats don’t stray too far from the safety of home.

However, it is still a worry for local dog owners who frequent popular Facebook page Dumbarton’s Dogs.

Dog owner Alexis Robb said: “It worries me as I have five springers and try not to walk them where it’s been gritted, but if I can’t then I wash all their paws - 20 in total. Not only is it bad for their paws but they will clean their paws as soon as they settle down and this could be bad for their mouth and stomach.”

Local Anne Bull recently walked her cocker spaniel from Tullichewan to Argyll Park, and then back. She washed her pup’s paws when she got home only to find salt burn on both front paws.

Stephen Higgins added: “It impacts dog owners significantly. You have to wash your dog’s paws after each walk. It’s tough as roads and paths need gritted but it’s not good for the dogs. Surely there could be an alternative?

“Dogs instinctively clean their paws and after walks, it can be harmful in winter.

“Need for human and traffic safety, but not at the expense of the hairy weans.”

For more information on how to keep your dog safe this winter, visit scottishspca.org/news/keep-pets-safe-in-the-snow.