You've probably seen the TV ads: sorrowful eyes staring out from cages. You've heard the plea: help shelter pets. You may have even heard the longing in your child's voice: “Can we PLEASE get a dog?!” All pluck at your heart like a harp string, making you seriously consider adding a dog to your household.
But, you have questions – good for you! Your pondering shows responsibility, and that’s crucial of a dog owner. What else?
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With Old Man Winter still hanging on big time where I live as well as in much the United States, people still to keep ice melt on hand to keep sidewalks and driveways from becoming a leg or back-breaker. However, many of these products are harmful for pets – ice melt can get in between toe pads of paws and burn an animal's feet, or, if ingested while licking feet, can be poisonous, even deadly. What's a person living in the sub-Arctic to do?
There are many pet-safe ice melt products on the market, or at least safer than other ones. A short list includes Safe Paw, Morton Salt Safe-T Pets, Safe Step, and Paw-Thaw (biodegradable and less harmful to vegetation, according to the company's website). Eco Traction is another product that, not necessarily an ice melt, helps provide traction on icy surfaces – an environmentally friendly product, its made of volcanic material that doesn't corrode or damage surfaces and can be used in the spring on gardens. Click on the links associated with each product name to go directly to the companies' websites.
Government entities do not regulate ice melt products, so pet owners are encouraged to read the ingredient lists carefully. Many contain fertilizers and often salt; not all fertilizers are safe for pets. Also read warnings on the product label – if it will damage stone or concrete surfaces, then it will probably irritate your pet’s feet (at a minimum).
Learn more about some of these products, including opportunity to view Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) at http://www.examiner.com/article/a-list-of-pet-safe-ice-melts.
Winter must come to an end sometime, however, it seems like it's staying around awhile. Therefore, protect yourself, your family, and your pets during these icy conditions by using some of the suggested products on the ice build-up around your home.
Gayle M. Irwin is a writer and public relations professional who volunteers with various animal rescue groups. She enjoys sharing her books and her passion for pets and the environment with others.