While no salt melt is completely safe for pets (or humans for that fact) to ingest.  The pet-safe salts are safer than using rock salt or many others on the market.  For example, one commonly used ice melt is rock salt -or sodium chloride. Unfortunately, rock salt is also one of the least pet-friendly ice melts out there.   Another type of ice melt includes a deadly toxin – ethylene glycol.  This is the same active ingredient as antifreeze, which can be deadly if ingested.

What health issues may be caused by ice melts?  It all depends on the type of ice melt used, the quantity ingested, or amount of time exposed to the skin.  Health concerns range from minor skin irritations to more severe issues of gastrointestinal irritation.  But the most severe reactions could be neurological, due to the high blood sodium levels that can develop after ingestion of rock salt.  Symptoms may be lethargy, weakness, unsteadiness, behavior changes, muscle twitches, seizures, and coma.

Some of the safest ice melts are ones that include a propylene glycol base.  This type of ice melt is safer for dogs (but not cats).  We carry Paw Thaw in the store.  It is safer than most on the market, but you still want to take precautions to keep your pet healthy and safe.

What can you do to help?  After a walk simply wash your pup’s feet.  Rinsing off the salt will help reduce the irritation and accidental ingestion (if your pup cleans her own feet).  Another option you could try is Paw Wax.  Put a coating of the paw wax onto your pup’s pads before your walk.  We carry Invisible Boot and our very own Happy Dog Barkery Paw Wax.  The wax will put a barrier between the elements and your pup’s paws.  Or another option is to purchase a pair of doggie boots, if your pet will wear them.

In case of emergency:  You should always contact your vet (or local Emergency Center) if you are concerned about your pup.  There are a couple of pet poison helplines.  But know that you will be charged a fee if you need a consultation. These sites also have a comprehensive listing for your browsing pleasure (for free)!  We truly hope you NEVER need these services.  Wishing you all a safe and healthy winter.

Pet Poison Helpline

Animal Posion Control (ASPCA)

Add Paw Thaw to your next delivery!  12# jug only $13.99 or $17.99 for a 25# bag.