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Dog Health Advocate #15 – Snow, Ice, Salt and Dogs - Oh My!
November 19, 2014

Snow, Ice, Salt and Dogs - Oh My!

Beginning my third winter in the cold climate of Minnesota I'm once again pondering the use of ice melt products.

Why? Aside from the temperature dipping to the single digits already and having stairs at both front and back doors, I don't want to slip on the ice. And even though Lulu is more sure footed with 4 feet, she still slips now and then.

Why don't I just sprinkle that salt and forget about it? A couple of reasons.

Have you ever seen what ice and water do together? If not you can put ice in a baggie and add some rock salt. After a few minutes feel the bag.

While I haven't tried this myself I do remember the various experiments my sons did while growing up. The salt and ice experiment was a doozy. . .

"What the heck happened to your arm?" I asked my 12-year-old when I saw a nasty looking wound.

"Oh Mom, it's so cool! If you wet your arm; sprinkle it with salt and then stick an ice cube on it, it burns you! Isn't that awesome?"

I'd just gotten home from work and I didn't think it was awesome at all. "You planning on repeating the experience because it looks like you're going to have a nasty scar from that."

"Naw, once was enough."

"What about your brother?"

"Well we did it together to see who could wait the longest before taking off the ice."

(Mother slaps forehead.)

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Now that my stairs have a sheet of ice even after shoveling diligently, I broke down and put down the salt stuff but I check between Lulu's toes when we come back in because I've also learned that ice melt products are not simply salt and I didn't choose mine well.

"Pet friendly" ice melt products may say in the finer print that it is poisonous if taken internally and let's face it, if our dog's paws begin to burn from the stuff, what's a dog going to do? Lick it!

So heads up and have a safe winter. If you don't live in snow country, you might pass it on to a friend who does. You might also send me your address so I can come visit (just kidding).

If you have a product you know is safe for dogs, don't be shy because you can save me and others the job of reading labels on who knows how many bags. Post it on the Three Little Pitties Facebook page under the picture of Lulu standing in the back yard with snow on her tootsies. Your knowledge could save a dog from getting poisoned.

I'd also love to know what the best dog boots are. I never thought I'd buy a dog shoes but Lulu is still a Southern girl and her feet bleed if she plays in the snow too long. I've got to get her some soon.

Thanks for your experience,


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