As the temperature drops and ice become more of a threat, homeowners will begin applying sidewalk salt to melt the ice. But is all sidewalk salt bad for your pets? While there are many pet-safe salt options, not all homeowners will use them. So what are the risks of sidewalk salt and how can you keep your pet safe.
Sidewalk ice salt is made of a variety of ingredients such as sodium chloride (table salt), magnesium chloride, or calcium chloride. While sodium chloride is safe for pets many of these other ingredients are not.
Possible risks of sidewalk salt
- Sidewalk salt is irritating to dog paws (and human skin)
- Sidewalk salt is poisonous when ingested and can cause kidney problems
- Sidewalk salt can irritate the respiratory tract when inhaled
So what can you do to reduce the risk to your dog?
- Try to avoid walking your dog in areas where unsafe salt may have been used
- Wipe your dog’s paws right away after each walk; this will prevent your dog from licking the salt off of his paws
- Do not allow your dog to lick water off the ground
- Walk your dog is winter booties (available at most pet stores)
- Use pet-safe ice melt (this is made of urea)
While sidewalk salt can be a winter risk, it shouldn’t prevent you and your dog from having an awesome walk.