Keep Your Dog Safe This Winter
We love our pets and want to keep them safe from harm at all times. During winter months, rock salt is the most common type of deicer used on roads and pavements and can cause damage to your dog’s paws. The chemicals can aggravate the skin and can cause problems with circulation, kidneys and more if they are ingested. EcoGrit is an excellent alternative for our furry four-legged friends.
Dog’s paws are sensitive and so toxic substances on the ground can be caught on the under-foot of your dog. If the chemicals from the paws are somehow ingested, this can cause severe health difficulties for your canine pal.
Ice melts that don’t contain propylene or ethylene glycol, rock salts or urea are the best kinds for pets.
EcoGrit can work down to temperatures of -20°C and works for upto 7 days – so you don’t have to use so much. It’s safe enough for your pet to accidentally ingest. It has the added benefit of being biodegradable so it will keep the surrounding plant life healthy too.
EcoGrit has a pet-friendly formula as it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals. If you have a dog, consider using our product to safely clear away ice.
EcoGrit contains natural ingredients that are non-harmful to pets. Pet owners can use this ice-met with no doubt that it will have adverse effects on their pets.
Ice-melts containing propylene glycol or ethylene glycol (aka antifreeze) have a toxic risk to animals if ingested and so are deemed harmful. Avoid using products containing these ingredients.
Calcium chloride is also an unsuitable ice-melt as it is hygroscopic. This means it will absorb moisture and cause dry paws and discomfort – not to mention several gastrointestinal issues. It’s best to avoid these hazardous salts for your pet’s health.
Winter salt, also referred to as rock salt, contains sodium chloride which can irritate pads on canine paws. A dog’s paws can become sore from repeatedly walking on roads and pavements which have these salts applied to them. Some crystals have sharp edges too and can potentially cut through the paw, causing bleeding.
Additionally, if this salt is consumed, i.e. through licking its paws, it can cause detrimental stomach issues.
Potassium nitrate is a harmful substance when ingested and can cause irreparable harm to dogs. On ingesting, dogs can develop gastrointestinal issues like vomiting, a painful abdomen, and bloody diarrhoea.
Sidewalk salt is also mostly sodium chloride and is an irritant to animal paws. It can cause discomfort and burns and it’s advised to avoid these routes if possible.
EcoGrit’s range of ice melts and associated products, including shakers, spreaders and larger tubs for wider areas, are organic, naturally sourced and free from harmful chemicals that cause toxicity, including rock salt and urea. They are pet-friendly ice melts and readily available online, along with further information about keeping yourself, your loved ones and your four-legged friends safe this winter.
Ingesting too much salt can be incredibly harmful to a cat or dog. Too much salt entering the body can cause blood sodium concentration to increase to a dangerous level, which damages the kidney and causes excessive thirst and lethargy.
Salt can be absorbed through skin and paws too, making it even riskier to use rock salt as a deicer in areas where dogs can reasonably be expected to walk. Additionally, some deicers are based on urea, or urea-derived ingredients, which are also toxic to pets coming into contact with them. Urea ingestion can lead to excessive salivation and irritation to the gastrointestinal tract.
Additionally, the combination of salt and melting ice can cause a heat reaction, meaning that a surface can become hot and uncomfortable to walk on with ‘bare paws’. Rather, the simple act of deicing a pavement with rock salt can cause burns to a pet’s delicate paws.
If a dog or cat’s paws feel painful or uncomfortable, they are more likely to lick them for some relief, which in turn transfers the offending products onto their lips, mouth and tongue and on into their digestive system, affecting the bloodstream and internal organs.
Given these risks, it is clear that great care must be taken when choosing a deicing product to use this winter. It is prudent for owners to check the labels of any commercially available products before buying them as they may still contain rock salt, but fewer quantities of it with rounded edges for a softer impact.
Nevertheless, salt remains a risk. So look for products stating that they do not contain any rock salt or urea whatsoever. Urea can also be known as carbonyl diamide or carbamide resin and is also used in many fertilizers as a source of nitrogen. Excess levels caused by ingesting urea, or absorbing it through the skin, can lead to blood and kidney problems in cats and dogs.
Other chemicals to steer clear of include chlorides, which can cause internal irritation and kidney issues in pets, calcium salts, which can lead to diarrhoea. Skin complaints and glycols, which are also a key ingredient of antifreeze and can be deadly to pets if eaten.
The aspects that make the ice melt safe for pets and concrete include a lack of salts, urea, chlorides and other harmful chemicals. The safest preventative solutions are those derived naturally from organic sources that do not work against your cats’ and dogs’ internal systems nor cause them irritation when they come into close contact.
Some examples include sand, grit, gravel and cat litter, which all offer excellent traction but do not speed up the ice melting. For the latter, there are specialist, pet-safe ice melter products on the market that are aimed at pet owners and that clear icy surfaces quickly and efficiently without causing any harm to concrete or other surfaces while posing no risk to animals or plant life.
A quick and easy way to reduce the risk and clear away dangerous snow, frost or ice is to spread grit of some form or another onto the road to add traction and help melt the ice so that it turns back into a liquid and runs safely off the surface into the gutters.
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