As the Upstate NY area continue to endure snow, sleet and ice, it’s important to remember that four-legged friends require special care during the cold winter months. Before you pull out the de-icer to use on your sidewalk or driveway, consider whether or not the method is actually safe. Many chemical de-icers cause harm to your pets, as well as the environment. So before you head to the store for something to clear your sidewalks and driveways, consider these pet friendly options.
Sand, Gravel, or Kitty Litter
These items are all safe for pets, but they can leave a mess and aren’t the most efficient ice melters.
Plastic Sheeting or Wooden Boards
Before a storm arrives, cover the areas you want to protect with heavy plastic sheeting or wooden boards. Remove the material after the storm to prevent it from freezing.
Pet Friendly Non-Toxic De-Ice Melt
Instead of using conventional de-icing salt and GMO sugar, head down to your local petstore, hardware store or shop online and pick up some “pet-safe” de-icer that is salt-free and environmentally safe.
Since it is impossible to control what others use on their sidewalks and driveways, invest in a pair of pet boots or paw wax. These items can prevent direct contact with unwanted chemicals. Make sure you wash off your dog’s paws, legs, and stomach once you’re back inside. Finally, be careful that your pets don’t drink melting ice or snow as it may contain unsafe de-icing chemicals.
The most common signs that your dog has ingested de-icers include vomiting and diarrhea, but can also include depression, tremors, seizures, disorientation, loss of appetite, and increased water consumption. If you think your dog may be affected, call the National Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.