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Pet Safe Ice Prevention | This Old House

Last updated on 23/09/2020

Chloride-based ice-melt granules have a nasty way of corroding metal, spalling concrete, and fouling waterways and soil, not to mention burning pets’ paws or making them sick. To avoid these issues, use an acetate or formate anti-icer instead. Most are liquids applied with pump sprayers (shown above); some are pellets sprinkled from scoops. Apply them before the flakes start to fly, and when snow does fall, the bottom ½-inch layer will turn into slush that’s easy to shovel, sweep, or blow away. Just reapply before the next storm. Here’s how products compare.

 

 

ANTI-ICER

INGREDIENTS

FORM

EFFECTIVE DOWN TO

PRICE

Happy Paws

Calcium magnesium acetate

Liquid

20°F

$30 per gallon

Green Ice Melt

NAAC Deicer

Sodium acetate

Pellets

0°F

$68 per 25-pound pail

Green Ice Melt

PlaySAFE

Potassium acetate/calcium magnesium acetate blend

Liquid

-15°F

$23 per gallon

PlaySAFE

Green Earth Winterizer

Potassium acetate

Liquid

-25°F

$30 per gallon

Green Ice Melt

Entry

Potassium formate

Liquid

-30°F

$39 per gallon

Secure Winter Products

 

What’s really pet-safe? There’s no independent oversight of “pet-safe” claims made on ice-melts, so before you buy, go online and read the product’s material safety data sheet (MSDS). Avoid any with chloride salts, urea (can cause vomiting and diarrhea in pets and burn plant roots), ethylene glycol (deadly to pets if swallowed), and propylene glycol (damages cats’ red blood cells).