The most dangerous aspect of the rock salt is the heat it gives off. The same property that makes it effective at removing the snow and ice can seriously harm your pets. Using an ice melt safe for pets is imperative if they are going to be exposed to treated areas.
A dog may be let outside after you spread the rock salt, allowing the dog to lick the snow where the salt is working, or get it on their paws or fur. Cats may lick your boots, which could have rock salt on them after tromping through the snow. Once the salt is inside is when the real harm occurs.
Basically the salt will give your pet a chemical burn. This can lead to an infection if the affected skin is not washed, or treated properly. Pets can also get an internal chemical burn if they lick their salty paws or fur, consume the salted snow outside, or the melting snow from boots and shoes. Burning the intestinal tract can cause distress when the pet eats or drinks, and can lead to vomiting and other digestive upset. You may have used rock salt in the presence of pets before, but it’s important to use a pet safe ice melt to avoid an emergency vet visit.
Ice melts are important winter tools to clear snow and ice from otherwise slippery walkways. Your pets are an important part of your life and it’s important to use an ice melt safe for pets to keep them healthy through the winter months. Be sure to keep your pets away from rock salt as much as possible. If they do come in contact with the salted snow, clean their paws and watch for any unusual behavior. Pet safe ice melts are typically more expensive than regular rock salt but the peace of mind and keeping your pets safe is worth it