As Old Man Winter barrels down on much of the United States, snow and ice build up on sidewalks and driveways. To rid our walkways of the dangers of icy conditions, which can lead to falls and broken bones, we often put down ice melt. However, those can have their own hazards, especially for our pets.
The primary ingredient in most ice melt products can be sodium chloride or calcium chloride. These substances can irritate the paws of pets and can also be harmful, even deadly, if ingested. A dog or cat that’s been outside and picks up salt or ice melt on its feet then licks its paw after coming indoors could experience vomiting or diarrhea. Even just a few ounces of sodium chloride or calcium chloride in a small dog or cat can be deadly.
There are two positive solutions to ice melt concerns.
Crystals from salt and ice melt can get between your pet’s pads, causing irritation and potential burns. Take time to clean your dogs’ feet after a walk and your cats’ paws if they venture outdoors during winter. Paying close attention to your animals’ feet will help keep them more safe and healthy during these snowy months.
For some references on ice melts, visit these websites:
If your pet ingests ice melt, contact your vet, the Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680), or the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435).
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.