Winter is usually fun for dogs, but cold weather also means that we as owners need to make some adjustments. Icy patios and driveways can be dangerous for pets and humans alike, but so are some ice melters. Ridding driveways from ice is necessary, but certain ice melts contain chemicals that can be harmful to animals. We’ve picked the best ice melt safe for pets to a certain extent.
Please note that there is no such thing as 100% pet-friendly ice melt. In order to melt the ice, these products contain compounds that should not be consumed, but dogs being dogs, they may lick the stuff.
However, some ice melts are safer than others.
For the uninitiated, ice melting products may often be called by different names. They are most commonly called rock salt, as they contain sodium chloride which is what we know as salt. This compound isn’t the worst for dogs, but it’s better to avoid it. However, other chemicals in regular not pet-friendly anti-icing products can be even more dangerous.
These are hazardous for dogs chemicals that can often be found in de-icing products:
- Magnesium chloride
- Potassium chloride
- Calcium magnesium acetate
- Calcium chloride
- Calcium carbonate
Because this is a highly unregulated industry, some rock salt or anti-icing products claim to be safe for pets when they actually aren’t. Chemicals in these ice melts can eat away at the pads of your dog’s paws or cause chemicals burns on his pads and his feet skin.
Problem With Regular Driveway Salt
Regular de-icing salt can burn your pet’s paws if the crystals happen to get stuck. Also, if your cat or dog consumes the salt, it could be bad for its health.
There are a variety of manufacturers that make pet-friendly de-icers. While the ingredients in the various brands differ, some are 100 percent salt- and chloride-free. Additionally, they claim to melt instantly, which helps limit the chance of the pelts becoming lodged in your dog or cat’s paws.
Also, it’s important for the de-icer to be non-toxic so it’s safe to be used around children and animals.
Other Pet-Friendly Tips
While it’s a good idea to purchase pet-friendly de-icers, there are ways to limit its use in general. They are designed to help loosen up compacted snow and ice, not to melt everything.
So use it sparingly and get out and shovel instead.