Pet-Safe De-Icing Solutions


by Mary Grace Mauney

Ice on the road is a well-known danger, one that many Georgians are finding themselves faced with this February, but be careful how you get rid of it! Many chemical de-icers are dangerous to pets, and some are even anti-freeze agents. Many can be harmful if ingested, and some can even do damage to the paw pads of dogs simply from walking on areas where they have been used. Organic salt-free de-icers are sold in stores, but there are many ways that are just as good and twice as cheap, using substances you likely already have around the house. Here are some natural ways that you can melt the ice in your streets and driveways without risking damage to your pets:

- Salt, the tried and true anti-ice solution. However, salt can still be tough on the paws pads of dogs, so consider using booties. If your dog will not tolerate this, be sure and wipe their paws off with a warm wet towel after they’ve been outdoors. Salt also corrodes metal, is bad for gardens, and damages concrete, however, so consider the following options as well!

- Alfalfa meal. It’s a fertilizer, so it’s safe for plants as well as pets, and in addition to being 100% green and safe for pets, it will also provide traction as well, saving you some slips!

- Sugar beet juice, believe it or not! It’s safe for people, animals, and plants, as well as concrete and metals

- Sand and ash; their darker colors absorb heat and melt the ice, not to mention providing traction. Ash from your fireplace will do just fine, simply scoop some out!

-Coffee grinds; if you have enough, they work just like ash and sand

Stay warm, and stay safe!