What Rock Salt is Safe for Pets?
Aw, what a good boy! Dogs will frolic and play nearly anywhere. Their spirits are high and unstoppable. So why snow on their parade?
Snow is inevitable in many places around the world. In places like Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Colorado, snow is included in the forecast more often than not. And in places like Long Island where the Green Gobbler offices are located, snow only arrives as soon as you have outdoor weekend plans.
Many homeowners will rush to Home Depot and pick up the cheapest bag of rock salt they see to prepare their yard for upcoming snow. But is this “cheap rock salt” really the best option for the ground? And way more importantly, is it the best option for your majestic, frolicking dog?
Say the answer with me: NO.
Dangers of Rock Salt
Rock salt only works in temperatures down to 30 degrees Fahrenheit, only TWO degrees below freezing. If you’re in a location that goes from 30 to 28 degrees, the ice that was melted at 30 degrees and has now settled into your porous driveway will begin to refreeze at 28 degrees. This can result in major cracks and holes. Say goodbye to your new concrete sidewalk or your freshly paved driveway!
The sharp, crystal granules that make up rock salt are also harmful. They can scuff surfaces, be easily tracked into your home via the bottoms of your shoes and can harm your precious pets. If your dog happens to walk along surfaces with rock salt, their paws will likely become irritated: first from the sharpness, next from the chemical irritant itself, sodium chloride.
Once your pet’s paws are irritated by rock salt, the probability of them licking their paws or accidentally getting any into their mouth, nose or eyes is high. This chemical can then irritate their stomachs, cause them to feel sluggish and cause gastrointestinal distress which results in painful potty time for your pet — and possible vomiting. In the case of higher doses of ingestion, it can lead to death. This is NOT worth the risk!
Please don’t put your pet through this. If you love dogs as much as we do, you’ll invest in them by making the right choice.
Best Pet Safe Ice Melt
The best route to take when it comes to melting snow & ice is to:
#1. Not purchase rock salt.
#2. Purchase magnesium chloride pellets instead.
Magensium chloride has a low toxicity level for humans and dogs, making it safer to be around than the highly toxic sodium chloride. Magnesium chloride pellets are also round-shaped, so they will not cut or irritate pet’s paws the way sharp crystals will.
Pet Safe Snow & Ice Melt is highly unlikely to result in cracked concrete or pavement. It works in temperatures as low as -10 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning the chance of melted snow and ice refreezing is rare.
NOTE: While magnesium chloride has a very low toxicity and will generally not harm dogs, if it is ingested in high quantities it can be harmful. So please don’t allow your pets into the bucket for a snack.