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What pet owners need to know about ice melters

A recent national survey shows that 60% of American households use rock salt and salt-based ice melt products during the cold winter months to reduce ice hazards around the home. An alarming 62% of Americans are unaware of the health dangers associated with the use of these products on your children, pets, and property.

Many consumers fail to read the warning labels on rock salt or rock salt-based products. The typical warning label found on rock salt and salt-based ice melt products states:

“Danger! Keep away from pets and children wear rubber gloves and goggles when using. Wash contaminated clothing and call doctor immediately if contact with eyes or ingested.”

The danger to pets is that jagged edges of rock salt. Those edges can injure the pads on dogs’ paws. It can cause burning, cracking, and cuts on the paw pad, as well as broken nails. These are common side-effects of rock salt.

Rock salt, and other salt-based ice melters, contain sodium chloride or potassium chloride which can heat up to 175 degrees when exposed to water, ice, and low temperatures. These chloride-based treatments are not safe for pets and can irritate, burning the eyes, nose, and lungs. If consumed, it can cause nausea, diarrhea, and dehydration. 

Often these white pellets (crystals) sit on ice and snow surfaces for a long period before penetrating. This presents a danger to pets, children, surfaces, and the environment

There are safe alternatives such as salt-free natural ice melt. These are pet-friendly ice melts that won’t burn or poison your pets or harm children if consumed. Pet safe ice melts are a non-salt, non-chlorine, non-acetate formula that is safe for pets, children, and the environment. Ask about pet friendly ice melt available at Arnie’s Pet Food Store

Safe Paw is the Original #1 Pet and Child Safe Ice melter for over 20 years. Guaranteed environmentally safe – will not harm waterways and sensitive wetlands. Unused ice melt is good for years with an unlimited shelf life. Safe Paw is a patented dual-effect compound. The liquid component starts melting ice instantly while breaking its surface tension. This allows the crystal core to quickly penetrate and destabilize the ice and speed up the melting process. All this while Safe Paw proprietary traction agent provides slip protection. Safe Paw attracts heat to make it even more effective Endothermic reaction takes advantage of a solar effect.

  • Non-corrosive and non-conductive formula – safe on cured concrete!

  • Pet and Kid Safe even if ingested.

  • Concentrated formula – use ½ of what you would use with salt!  Lasts 72 hours on the surface!

  • Salt free, chlorine free, acetate free formula – environmentally safe


Roadrunner Pet Friendly Ice Melt Magnesium Chloride Pellet is one of the best ice melters available. It is less corrosive than rock salt and safer for plants and pet's paws.  Melts to: -15ºF

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