Dog Safe Ice Melters
Traditional ice melters are made with calcium chloride (CaCl2) or magnesium chloride (MgCl2), which are exothermic, meaning they produce heat when dissolving. How much heat depends on a few factors including percentage in the product. Good for melting ice, not good for your dog's paws, mouth or intestinal tract. They are also hygroscopic, drawing in moisture and causing dried out paws.
Sodium chloride (NaCl), also known as rock salt, is not exothermic but it is drying and irritating to your dog's paws and gastrointestinal tract. Table salt, sea salt and coarse salt are also sodium chloride (with impurities removed) and may cause vomiting with as little as one to three tablespoons ingested or convulsions if larger amounts ingested. Dogs may ingest these salts as they lick and eat the crystals stuck to their fur and paws or while playing in (and eating!) the snow.
Products marketed as pet-friendly are made with urea, calcium magnesium acetate (CMA),potassium chloride or other ingredients that generally work best to prevent ice build-up rather than melt ice. These are considered safer and less harmful to pets than traditional ice melters, but may be problematic in larger quantities. (See below for list of brands marketed as 'pet-safe')
Traction aids such as sand, gravel, wood chips, natural kitty litter and volcanic minerals are non-toxic options. Even these items may be problematic if your dog ingests huge quantities but these items do not stick to the fur like salt crystals do so risk is lower.
Below this article are photos with links to Amazon for purchase. If you purchase through the link, a small percentage comes back to WHCA, but these products are also available through local pet supply stores as well. The goal is to get the winter sidewalks safer for Waverly canines. Prices are approximate based on whatever algorithm Amazon is currently using.
Also, please read the reviews and do research on the products. CMA seems controversial, and Morton salt may damage concrete. Currently, Safe Paw seems to have the least number of complaints.
Safe Paw Ice Melter/ 8 lbs./ ±$20
Safe Paw Ice Melter/35 Lbs Pail / ±$74
Active Melting Ingredient: amide/glycol admixture
Morton Safe-T-Pet Snow & Ice Melt / 8-Pound Jug / ±$23
Active Melting Ingredient: Urea
Paw Thaw Ice Melt /12 lb. Jug / ±$11
Paw Thaw Ice Melt, 25-Pound Bag / ±$31
Acive Melting Ingredient: CMA
Groundworks Natural Ice Melter / 35 lbs (5 - 7 lb. bags) / ±$80
Active Melting Ingredient: Potassium Chloride