Daily Walrus - Helping People Help Animals

Brrrr…Melt that ice! | January 22, 2008

For some reason we have not had snow in NYC yet, but it sounds like the rest of the country has.  With snow (and very often without) comes ice, which then involves salt.  Salt is put on sidewalks and roads to melt the ice, both by homeowners and the Department of Sanitation.  There are some safety tips to keep in mind both as an animal parent and as a homeowner.

First, the ice used by the Department of Sanitation (at least here in NY) and most homeowners is poisonous.  While it is unlikely that most pets will lick your shoes, we don’t like to take that risk.  I am not suggesting that you have to scrub your snow boots, but wipe your feet before coming inside and if you see that your pet is interested in the bottom of your shoes then put the shoes out of reach.  There is an extra risk factor for dogs, as they go outdoors numerous times a day for walks.  You might notice that your dog limps a little from the ice salt or that her/his paws seem irritated.  You can try putting booties on your pup if they seem extremely bothered by it.  If you aren’t into that at least wipe off the dog’s paws when you come inside.  Since it irritates their paws they are also more inclined to lick it off – this is the most common way poisonous ice is ingested.  There are lotions made for your dog’s pads specifically for this purpose, unfortunately they contain lanolin (an animal by-product).  Instead, you can use baby wipes or just soap and water.  Your dog will thank you for it!

If you are a cat person or still waiting for the perfect dog, there are still things you can do to help out in the winter.  If you are the one who puts the salt down, try a pet friendly kind like Safe Paws – it’s the best commercial de-icer for both animals and the environment.  You can also try plain old sand or gravel – these are the safest for both our four legged friends and planet Earth.  You are not only protecting your neighbor’s pets, but also any stray animals.  If you are a renter and have a good report with your super, ask her/him to use pet friendly de-icers too!

 Stay warm!  Here is a picture of Wally with his winter hat on.




  1. Wally does not look too happy. 🙂

    Comment by 4urpets — January 22, 2008 @ 11:28 pm

  2. what a funny cat hat!!

    Comment by kennedy — January 23, 2008 @ 4:07 pm

  3. […] | Feb 13th 2008 We try to give you lots of tips with this blog for avoiding emergencies, such as cold weather safety, dental hygiene, car safety, weight management, and hidden poisons.  We do recognize, though, that […]

    Pingback by Always Be Prepared « Daily Walrus - Helping People Help Animals — February 13, 2008 @ 8:45 pm

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About author

Hello - we are Jenny and Ryan, a couple living in Brooklyn, New York. We are both busy with school and work but try to take time to do something every day to make the world a better place for animals. Occasionally we may link to outside websites for additional resources, but we do not necessarily endorse all policies of these organizations. Despite the title of our blog, the focus is not only on walruses. So what's with the title? We named this blog after our cat, Wally, aka The Walrus. We are the proud parents of two cats (Wally and Tito) and one dog (Luigi).







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