Pet-Safe Ice Melts Are a Better Choice for De-Icing This Winter

If you live somewhere that sees enough snow each winter to require things like snow tires, shoveling walkways, and products that melt ice, you’ll want to keep reading. If you’re a pet owner that walks their dog year-round, you’re really going to want to pay attention. That’s because they are very likely trudging through applications that either the city or even you or your neighbors have applied to keep from slipping along on roadways or sidewalks.

puppy in snow
Photo: Pixabay/kar0329

Ice Melt Products

Unless your dogs are wearing booties, they’ll likely come into contact with it. And, if you don’t clean their paws once you arrive back at the house, chances are they’ll spend the next 15 minutes licking it off their paws. Some ice melts are marketed as pet-safe or pet-friendly, but are they and how well do they work? One product that’s been tested is called SafePaw Ice Melt. It creates a reasonable amount of grip to keep slipping and sliding to a minimum and the colored granules make it easy to see where it’s been applied. Safe Paw is unique in that it uses a non-toxic glycol for ice melting, whereas most pet-friendly ice melts are salt- or urea-based.

dog walking in snow
Photo: Pixabay/99mimimi

Safe Paw Ice Melt

When you shop for ice-melt products cost is likely a factor. Salt and urea-based ice melts can get inexpensive.
Most ice melts contain salt, such as sodium chloride, but they can also include magnesium, potassium, and calcium salts. Urea is another common ingredient as well as glycols. These commonly used ingredients aren’t poisonous in small amounts but they can irritate skin and cause stomach upset when ingested. You should avoid anything with ethylene glycol. While a good de-icer, it’s toxic and causes environmental damage.

Maltese in snow
Photo: Pixabay/Pezibear

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Another reason to avoid products with it is that glycols have a sweet flavor, which could surely attract your pet’s attention. Overall, you shouldn’t allow your pet to eat ice that contains ice melts, even if they’re touted as pet-friendly. Dogs are still likely to suffer side effects like stomach upset. Three other popular, pet-friendly ice-melt products are Safe Step Sure Paws, Splash Pet Safe Ice Melt, and Road Runner Pet-Friendly Ice Melt, all of which use magnesium chloride as a major ingredient, which is marketed as less harmful to pets than sodium salts.

French bulldog wearing booties
Photo: Pixabay/pasja1000

Dog Booties and Balms

Having covered all of this, you still can’t control what your local government uses to keep streets and sidewalks ice-free. That means every step your pet takes off your property there is a good chance they’re picking up whatever’s been laid down. Due to this, you may want to consider traction socks, booties, or a paw balm to create a barrier. There are also a variety of cleaning wipes to choose from that will remove any salts or chemicals your dog will surely try to remove by licking them off. Instead, keep them safe all year round.

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