The Dangers of Broken Glass on the footpath!

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

When I’m out walking my client’s dogs, in my role as a professional dog walker, I literally cannot take my eyes from the paths, keeping one eye out for the dogs and the other focused on looking for broken glass in front of us and then trying to avoid it. I often come across some broken glass on the pavement. I’ve had one or two incidents where the dog’s paws have been cut on the glass around where I live. You can spot these shards of glass on the streets, in parks and even in woodland areas. I fail to understand how anyone can be so irresponsible as to throw a glass bottle onto the ground, sometimes breaking it and leaving the debris. Don’t they know how potentially harmful broken glass can be to our pets, not to mention to children too?

How to tell if your dog has a paw pad injury

Even the toughest paw pad can be susceptible to a laceration or puncture from a sharp object or broken glass. Symptoms to look out for will first be your dog’s reluctance to put any weight onto his foot. Then he will lick the pad excessively, the pad may bleed and discolour, and your dog will limp.

Treating a cut on the paw pad

The first step is to clean and inspect the wound. Try to determine if there is a piece of glass in his pad, and if possible, remove it, using tweezers if need be. If clean water is available, wash the injured paw moving the foot around gently in the water to remove any smaller pieces of debris. Apply pressure to the paw pad using a clean bandage, and apply pressure until the bleeding stops. If it’s only a small cut, this treatment should stop the bleed, but if it continues, you need a visit to the Vet’s surgery for possible stitches and further expert treatment.

If your dog eats broken glass

A dog’s life can be seriously compromised if he eats any pieces of broken glass. This is a life-threatening situation, and you need immediate help from your Vet. The glass is dangerous to either perforating his oesophagus or passing into his gastrointestinal tract. A home remedy suggests you feed your dog pure cotton wool balls dipped in cream and that your dog will devour them. Then the cotton wool will wrap around the offending object and be passed out through normal bodily function. Still, in most cases, immediate, expert help is needed before an internal puncture wound occurs. Do not try and induce vomiting, as the foreign object can cause as much damage on the way back out.

Take care when out walking.

When walking your dog, it’s difficult to watch where he is putting his feet, but the injuries caused by broken glass must be highlighted to make pet owners more aware. If you cycle with your dog running beside you, it may be more difficult to notice what is lying on the cycle route. Likewise, a visit to the beach can bring about paw pad injuries, with pieces of the broken glass often washed up from the sea.

As dog owners, we need to be fully aware of our surroundings. Litter can be lethal to our pets, but doing our part to pick up, collect and recycle broken glass if we see it on our daily walks may help prevent another dog from being badly injured.

Litter can be lethal, but protecting animals from harmful rubbish should be easy. By recycling, reusing or putting items in the bin, as appropriate, we can protect the environment and help animals.”