The ice is upon us!

We have reached the time of year when we step outside and everything freezes.  We enlist several tactics to fight against the freeze and try to protect ourselves from slip and falls and vehicle slip and not-stops.  Our sidewalks, walkways, driveways and in some cases even our lawns, are generously covered with ice melters in an attempt the break the freeze.  Store fronts, home fronts, schools and playgrounds – everyone, everywhere is trying to melt the ice.

 Icedogs

What do we think about when we make our mad dash to the local box store to grab some of the rapidly depleting miracle melt?  We think, “I’d better grab a couple more bags just in case they run out”.  What we don’t think about is the potential harm it can cause our four legged friends.  We grab the bags that say “Salt” or “De-icer” and head home.

Salt is the most effective way of melting ice, but we should consider how that salt effects pets. Whether we have our own, or we live in a community where there are pets using the sidewalks we maintain we should take their wellbeing into consideration. The freezing temperature of water is 0 degrees Celsius.  Salt lowers that freezing temperature.  On paws, salt burns.  Salt and de-icers can cause chemical burns, blisters and infection to your dog’s paws.  Pieces of salt lodged in the webbing of their pads can cause them to lick and chew their paws resulting in the ingestion of the salt.  This ingestion can cause drooling and diarrhea; however, if a large amount of salt is ingested, fainting and seizures may occur.

How can we protect our four-legged friends?  We can use alternative ice melters, avoid salted areas, apply Vaseline to the pads of the paws before walks, rinse paws with warm water after a walk or, if your fur friend allows it, get them some booties.  Also, be sure to store salt you may use in a place where it is not accessible to your dog.  Curiosity killed the cat, it can also kill the dog.  Inspect your dog’s paws whenever they come in from the outdoors.  Keep an eye on your pooch when you are out and about or even in your backyard.  We need to know what they are getting into.  Our dogs can’t talk to us and tell us that there is something wedged in their paw.  As responsible pet owners we must always be aware of the potential harm that can come to our pets.  That being said,  knock your boots before you go into the house to prevent tracking salt into the house, put your boots somewhere your dog can’t reach them so they don’t try to lick the salt off and shake your doormats to make sure no salt or de-icer has made it by the boot knocking.

Winter is a fun time of year, let’s also ensure it’s safe time for our fur friends. At the end of the day, after playing outside and the paws are dry, let your dogs rest on a new Mammoth Dog Bed. Mammoth is the only dog bed that lasts the test of time.

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