How Does Driveway Salt Affect Pets?

Amelia Kirt, Staff Writer

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If one has a pet and lives in Minnesota, they’ve probably walked their dog on a salted road or sidewalk. Some salts that are used to melt away ice on roads and sidewalks are dangerous for pets paws.

According to PetFinder.com, caring for pets paws during the winter is crucial to decrease the chance of getting chemical burns on their paws. “Prolonged contact can lead to chemical burns on dog paws. If your dog is limping by end of a walk, deicing products may be hurting his feet. Try to keep your dog off the salty sidewalk (think grass or snow) whenever possible,” said PetFinder.com. 

The main chemicals in ice melts for driveways that are bad for pets paws are Sodium Chloride or Calcium Chloride. Both Sodium and Calcium Chloride can irritate a dog’s paws or be harmful to the animal if ingested, according to Accuweather.com.

There are options to prevent sore paws or chemical burns during the winter. “Safe Paw is a common pet-friendly deicer, but sand, small stones, and kitty litter (non-clumping) are also options for deicing while protecting your dog’s pads from injury and chemical burns,” said PetFinder.com. When walking pets ask the city what salt they use on the roads and public sidewalks to see if the salt is safe or unsafe for pets.

When asking a dog owner about if they know what salt they use on their driveway and sidewalk they said, “I have no clue what salt I use, and it’s probably bad for dogs” They use SPLASH 10 lb Premuium Ice Melt. The company website Splashwash.com says “Salt-free, environmentally friendly melting solution. Our eco-friendly formula is safe to use around pets and children.”

Another dog owner said, “It’s regular ice melt salt. It’s safe for dogs, but it could sting my dogs paws if she has a cut or sore.” 

When going to the store to pick up salt to stop ice from forming choose one of these ice melters instead of just salt. Morton® Safe-T-Pet® Ice Melt®—”An Ice Melt for Happy Paws”, Safe Paw Ice Melter, and Snow Joe Enviro-Blend Ice Melter are all good options that you can find at a local store. To keep your pets paws safe make sure to know what your walking them on.

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