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    Safer Ice Melt: Protect Your Pets – Friday Quickie

    green ice melt & safe for petsAll of this snow outside means people rush to treat their sidewalks and driveways. But don’t run and buy the nearest rock salt available on your corner store.

    Common ice melt products and rock salt can become trapped in pets’ paws, causing severe irritation and burns. Or, the animals will lick their paws in relief and ingest them, which is even worse and can lead to serious side effects. Even if you have an indoor animal, you’ll track some salt in with your shoes in the cold weather.

    Choosing Safe & Pet-Friendly Ice Melt

    How can you tell if the ice melt is safe for your furry BFF? Look for labels that are pet-safe. If the products are safe for animals, they’re often environmentally friendly too. Win-win.

    Avoid fertilizers, products that damage concrete and decking. Rock salt or sodium chloride is the most toxic.

    Green & Pet-Friendly Ice Melt

    Looking for the best ice melt brands? Here’s a rundown:

    • Earth Friendly Products Ice melt is mostly made from magnesium chloride, which is safer than sodium chloride according to Grist.
    • Inferno Ice Melter uses acetates, which is less damaging than salts. But it may damage aquatic life.
    • Sand will help you add traction to the ice, although won’t do much to melt it.
    • Cat litter will also add traction (but not do much to melt.) If you’re going this route, make sure to steal a Pounce-approved brand like Swheat Scoop or World’s Best Cat Litter. Avoid clay varieties – they’re bad for the earth & feline.

    The Verdict

    Most ‘ice melt’ brands often have ingredients that aren’t foolproof. Alternatives like sand & cat litter won’t help ice melt, but improve traction.

    The overall lesson? Shovel snow ASAP before it turns to ice and use a minimal ice treatment where absolutely necessary.

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    Julie Hancher

    About Julie Hancher

    Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake.

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