As was made famous by Game of Thrones, we safely can say “winter is coming.”This time of year, the threat of snow or freezing rain becomes (unfortunately) much more real and common.While we want to promote safety on our walkways and driveways, it is important to remember when choosing an ice-melt product to ensure the safety of our furry companions this time of year.
While there are many products that are labeled as “pet safe,” it is important to know the main ingredients of the product you are using around your home.Ice melts can cause an issue for your pets in one of two ways; it can cause irritation on their paws from their contact with it, or from when they ingest it.
Most dermal contact irritation tends to be mild for those products labeled “pet safe.”The main way to help limit this kind of irritation is to check in between the paw pads when your pet comes inside.Large chunks of ice/ice melt can get stuck in between the pads, and by “sitting” against the skin cause the most irritation.Removing the source of the irritation helps decrease the likelihood the skin will have an issue.
The major ingredients in most ice melts are either sodium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, calcium salts, or urea based products.The majority of these, if ingested, will cause mild GI upset (diarrhea, possibly vomiting).Calcium based products tend to cause the most side effects, and ideally should be avoided around pets.Sodium chloride (salt) based products can be dangerous for pets due to the fact that some dogs like the taste of salt.Due to this, they actually will seek out the salt-based ice melt, and ingest larger quantities than other types, leading to more side effects.Large ingestions of any of these products, however, can have more significant side effects, depending on which ingredients they contain.If you are worried your pet has ingested a large amount of an ice-melt product, please give us a call to discuss what (if any) steps need to be taken.
This time of year, it is important to know what ingredients are the base for your pet-safe ice melt, and to monitor your pet’s activity around it.In doing so, we ensure our safety on the ice, and the safety of our pets around it!