Winter's cold weather also means that pet owners need to make some adjustments. Icy patios and driveways can be dangerous for dogs, but so are some ice melters, prompting owners seek out pet safe ice melt products. Ridding driveways from ice is necessary, but certain solutions contain chemicals that can be harmful to animals. Below are the best ice melt safe for pets to a certain extent (it varies based on ingredients used).
Note that there is no such thing as 100% pet friendly ice melt. In order to melt the ice, these products contain compounds that should not be consumed, but dogs being dogs, they may lick the stuff. Still, some ice melts are safer than others, as long as your dog doesn't ingest these ice melters.
Ice melting products may often be called by different names, such as rock salt because they contain sodium chloride which is what we know as salt. This compound isn't toxic to dogs, but it's better to avoid it and choose pet safe ice melt products instead. Other chemicals in regular not pet friendly anti-icing products can be more dangerous.
Hazardous for dogs chemicals that can often be found in de-icing products include:
- Magnesium chloride
- Potassium chloride
- Calcium magnesium acetate
- Calcium chloride
- Calcium carbonate
Because this is a highly unregulated industry, some rock salt or anti-icing products claim to be and are labeled as dog safe ice melt solutions when they actually aren't. Chemicals in these pseudo pet friendly ice melt products can eat away at the a dog's paw pads or cause chemical burns. Below are the best pet safe ice melt products that we like most:
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How to Use Pet Safe Ice Melt Products with Dogs
There are a few key things you must do in order to use any type of pet friendly ice melt products this winter where you don't have to worry about harming your dog:
- Use a non-toxic pet-friendly ice melts and anti-icing products;
- Clean your dog's paws after they get in contact with the product;
- Avoid areas where you know people do not use pet safe ice melt;
- You can use dog booties for additional protection of your Fido's paws;
- Be aware of the area and make sure you pet doesn't consume the actual product.
Finally, do pay close attention to the ingredients list listed on the packaging of pet-
friendly best ice melt safe for pets. Do more research before making your purchase to ensure that the product you choose is 100% safe for pets and the company is reputable. The best pet safe ice melt is only as good as its compounds listed on the label.
What's the Best Ice Melt Safe for Pets?
1Safe Paw Ice Melter
by Safe Paw
Safe Paw Ice Melter comes in concentrated pellets that can cover twice the capacity of rock salt with greater (and safer) results. It is non-toxic and perfectly safe for humans and dogs, cats. It will not damage brick, concrete, stone, or plants. It has a timed-release feature which prevents re-icing up to 3 days after application.
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The main ingredients include carbonyl diamine and glycol. These blue ice melt pellets were easy for us to spot on ice after sprinkling it. The 35-pound pail has a handle which makes it convenient to carry around and store it.
It also affords better traction on thick ice and helps break the ice layer so that it's easier to shovel and scoop. More importantly, Safe Paw Ice Melter doesn’t hurt or burn our dogs and cats paws and feet skin. In fact, they’re safe even when accidentally ingested in small amounts (though this must be avoided still).
The issue is that this dog-safe ice melt leaves a dirty residue that can get caught on shoes and paws, and on to floors. Though quite expensive, this product is well-appreciated because it does what it’s designed to do, which is melt ice. At the same time, it will afford you the peace of mind that it does not endanger the children and pets that frequent your pathways and sidewalks, or cause damage to the surfaces and vegetation in your surroundings.
2Non-Toxic Ice Melter Pet Safe
by Safe Paw
This is the same product as above, but it is an 8-pounder, and it is packaged in a different and more handy plastic jug. This product from Safe Paw delivers the same potency on ice with the timed-release formulation for longer staying power on the surface area. It has the same non-toxic feature which makes it safe for children and pets playing on the icy surface.
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It is safe to use on ice layers above concrete or brick, since the pellets will not react with these surfaces or cause damage to them. These blue ice melters contain the same components of carbonyl diamine and glycol admixture.
The 8-pound version (packed in a durable translucent plastic jug) has mostly caught our attention because it’s way lighter than its 35-lb counterpart and we don't really need as much. It’s easier to carry than the pail when moving around to spread the stuff. Its handle makes for a comfortable and secure grip. Because of the smaller size and quantity, Safe Paw Non-Toxic Ice Melter Pet Safe can be had at a lower cost without necessarily compromising quality. It does not cause burns or dryness on dogs’ paws, irritations on the mouth, or gastrointestinal and respiratory issues.
This is a great alternative to the pail especially for those who may have a smaller area that needs ice melting. It melts the ice while keeping the ground safe for dogs and cats. You don’t need to apply it heavily. A thinly spread layer does the trick. For really thick ice, this ice melter may not be able to effectively melt the ice. Instead, it improves traction on the surface which is still highly beneficial to people and pets.
3Pet Friendly Ice Melt (Calcium Chloride Free)
by Natural Rapport
Ice Melt from Natural Rapport is unforgiving on ice yet gentle on pets and humans. It is mainly made of magnesium calcium acetate. It does not cause burns or irritations on our dog's paws and feet. An organic ingredient is added in the preparation of this product to reduce corrosion. It is sold in a 10-pound easy-shake plastic bottle for convenient application.
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The de-icing pellets can be applied before the downpour of snow to prevent bonding of ice to the surface and to make shoveling easier. It is made in USA, and this was one of the first dog safe ice melt brands we used to depend on for worry-free winters. Before discovering Safe Paw, this one was our secret weapon to keeping patios and sidewalks safe for kids and pets to tread on even during heavy ice buildups.
Natural Rapport Ice Melt is cheaper than other brands and definitely works as hard as the harsher kind containing rock salt. This ice melter keeps pathways ice-free and safe, and it does just enough for a pet owner to be assured that our dogs and cats are safe, too.
We were, however, disappointed that the packaging says it is the “safest for pets” but in fact Safe Paw is actually a better option due to ingredients (this one should not be ingested under any circumstance). This ice melter is easy to use, and it works right away. It works even when we used it sparingly, and actually kept on working after some time. It’s also not messy unlike other best ice melt safe for pets products. Overall, it’s a good and economical way of enjoying the winter season for owners on a budget.
4Paw Thaw Ice Melt for Dogs
Not only is this product an effective de-icing agent, it is also safe for your dogs, cats, children, cars and the concrete surfaces they come in contact with. The main ingredient in this product from PESTELL is propylene glycol which is commonly used in the production of personal health care products, veterinary medicine, and food. This antifreeze is environmentally friendly and is the safer alternative to rock salt.
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This is one of the best ice melt safe for pets, as it is non-corrosive and does not cause burns or irritations to humans or animals. This ice melter definitely cuts through ice around 1-inch thick and works fast according to users. For thicker ice or for solid ice layers which this antifreeze could not cut through, it roughens the surface to provide better traction.
What’s more, PESTELL Paw Thaw Ice Melt product's formulation prevents further ice buildup or rebonding. While we known that rock salt acts faster than this dog-friendly melter, we still prefer this just for peace of mind.
This is a highly recommended ice melter for icy areas frequented such as parking spaces, sidewalks and driveways. Propylene acts by lowering the freezing point of ice. The product has effectively broken down ice sheets and prevented rebonding of snow and ice in our driveaway. An added bonus is that this dog ice melter does not leave any residue which can be quite messy, like some other brands.
5Snow & Ice Melter Safe for Pets & Paws
by Just For Pets
Veterinarians developed Just For Pets snow and ice melt, and foremost in their minds was the welfare of animals. Unlike rock salt, this is an anti-icing agent that does not contain salts or chlorides, designed for the safety of kids, dogs and cats.
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Just For Pets ice melter uses urea or carbamide to act on the ice. Urea is considered the safer ingredient compared to potassium chloride, sodium chloride, magnesium chloride and calcium salts. We were relatively happy with this dog ice-melter because it is indeed safer for pets and has no ill effects on animals.
We also found the blue color very helpful. The pellets are visible against snow and ice, so it’s quite easy to see which areas need to be reapplied with more pellets. This one solved our issues of dangerously slick ice surface in the driveaway by quickly melting it or improving traction. However, there are some issues of slight effects on vegetation and concrete.
Harsher formulations in other anti ice agents may cause gastrointestinal disturbances, dermal irritations, respiratory issues and other toxicities in dogs. This last top rated ice melt safe for pets option may have some effect to certain plants, but it's definitely safer for humans and animals than other ice melts using chloride- and salt-based formulations. When correctly applied, there’s no reason why this one won’t work and be safe for all of the members of your family.