It’s that time of year again to break out the shovels and ice-melt products to keep our driveways, decks, and any other pathways clear of any snow and ice. If you have pets, choosing a safe ice-melt may be complicated. Many ice melts/rock salts are full of harsh chemicals that can irritate your pet’s paws, can cause skin irritation and blistering. Some can even be toxic if ingested! Most people are not sure which ice-melts are pet friendly and which are not, but don’t worry! We are here to help!

Here are some helpful ways to help keep your pets safe from ice-melts this winter

1.) First off, we should know what melts to avoid! The most common ice-melt is rock salt. Most rock salts contain sodium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium carbonate, and calcium magnesium acetate or calcium chloride. All these chemicals combined are extremely harmful to your pet’s paws. These chemicals are designed to melt the ice so you can imagine what impact your dog or cat’s wet paws have once they come into contact with all these chemicals.

2.) If you have dogs, you know how excited they get when it snows- just like a kid! They want to go out and play in that fun and fluffy white stuff, and probably eat it too! When you take walks with your pups this winter, be sure to keep a close eye on them to make sure they aren’t eating or licking any of the snow on the ground as some sidewalks may be treated with an ice-melt that aren’t pet-friendly. Another great recommendation is getting some paw booties for your dogs. These booties will help to protect their paws from getting irritated or cracked from the melts. Come in and check out our paw booties in store!

3.) Always clean your pet’s paws before coming in. It’s a good practice to clean your pet’s paws before they come in to minimize skin irritation from walking on the melts. Making this a habit will cut down on any skin irritation or burns on their paw. This will also prevent them from ingesting any of the melts when they lick their paws. If your pet licks their paws after being exposed to these harsh chemicals, it can cause diarrhea, salivation, depression, disorientation, excessive thirst, seizures, or even death. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian right away.

4.) Be sure to keep the ice melts out of reach of your dog. If you have pets, you know how nosey they can be so it is a best practice to ensure these ice-melts are out of reach of your pet.

5.) Last and most importantly, chose a safe ice melt for your 4-legged friends. We highly recommend “Paw Thaw”! Paw Thaw contains some of the safest and effective deicing blend components available, which breaks the bond between ice and the surface area. This is a completely pet friendly and environmentally formulated blend and proven to be less harmful to grass, trees, and other vegetation as well. This product is also much safer on your concrete and patios.

The best part is we sell it right here in the store! Be sure to stop in and grab Paw Thaw if you do not already have a pet-friendly melt at home.