Many ice melting products tout themselves as “pet safe,” but a close examination of ingredients is vital to keep your pets safe when you treat your own driveway and walkways. Leading veterinarian groups such as the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Animal Hospital Association caution that exposure to salts and salt-based ice melting products, a common occurrence, can cause dogs severe dermatitis, inflammation of the paws and serious gastrointestinal problems including vomiting and internal burns of the mouth and digestive tract. Knowledge of how your area’s roadways are treated also helps you prepare to keep your pet safe as he travels down treated roads while out in the snow.
Significance for Pets
In 2000, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) alerted pet owners about the toxicity of ice melting chemicals, and in 2001, Canadian environmental and health groups released a list of toxic road salts, including calcium chloride. It continues to be an often-used de-icer on roads.
A key way to avoid negative effects on your pet from the salt solutions is to clean off his paws after he walks on treated areas.
When your pet has been exposed to surfaces on which road salt has been used, and possibly calcium chloride as well as other toxic chemicals, wipe his paws after every walk, paying attention to snow or ice that may be trapped between his toes. Also clean his coat, and prevent it from eating snow or drinking from puddles. Calcium chloride and other ice melting chemicals may have contaminated snow, ice or water near roads and walkways.
Ingesting a small amount of calcium chloride could lead to vomiting. Other symptoms include excessive salivation and thirst, diarrhoea, tremors, disorientation, and even seizures and death if a great deal was ingested.
There are alternatives to these harmful products, most notably Magnesium Chloride.
A blend of carbamide and propylene glycol, Pet Safe Ice Melt is classified as relatively harmless to animals and humans. Animals would have to eat large amounts to experience major problems making it is much less harmful than eating salt. As well as pet friendly, it is environmentally safe, non hazardous and non corrosive on concrete, metals etc
Unlike conventional ice melting which create heat as they dissolve ice on absorbing moisture these granules do not. The issue of heat creates a problem when dogs and cats get ice melting granules in their paws which can lead to burning. This is not a problem your pets will have with this product.
As conventional ice melters absorb moisture they produce alkaline solutions which are detrimental to your animal’s paws and skin causing painful burning sensations. This will not happen with Pet Safe Ice Melt, when dissolved in water the pH=7.2 i.e. it is neutral.