When you take your pet outside during the wintertime for a bathroom break or walk, you will most likely come across rock salt on the streets and sidewalks. While the salt helps melt the ice and snow, it’s not healthy for your dog to be ingesting or walking on. However, there are alternatives to using salt as well as other ways to protect your pet from this toxic material.
Ice melts often contain sodium chloride, calcium magnesium acetate and calcium carbonate. These ingredients can cause pets to experience any of the following symptoms: salivation, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, increased thirst, seizures and death. If you also have children, you should consider the other options for de-icing your driveway and sidewalks.
The National Animal Poison Control recommends using sand or kitty litter instead of salt. These materials have a similar texture to salt, so they will provide traction for the cars and people coming and going from your home. In addition, they will not cause as many problems to the environment. Salt can make the water running off your driveway more acidic, so it acts like acid rain and can kill nearby plants and destroy soil and groundwater quality.
A 100% salt-free and environmentally safe product called Safe Paw Ice Melter has recently been in the news. It can be used around children and pets, and it melts the ice more effectively than rock salt.
If you use alternative products like the ones suggested, you will not have to worry about your dog ingesting a toxic material when they clean off their paws. If you have no control over what material is applied to the sidewalks, purchase dog booties that you can slip on and off of your dog.
Rock salt is dangerous to pets and children, so when you are able to reduce their exposure to it, you are definitely protecting their health. More winter is still on its way, so check out these alternative products. With these alternatives, you might even find fewer water puddles and salt build up at your doorways.