Ice melt, or salt, that is commonly used to clear ice from sidewalks and other icy surfaces can be harmful to pets.
The main ingredient in most ice melt products is either sodium chloride or calcium chloride. Both sodium and calcium chloride can irritate a dog's paws or be harmful to the animal if ingested.
A dog's paws should be cleaned after walking outside on snowy days. Even if you don't see the ice melt, it may still be on surfaces. A dog that licks its feet after coming inside could experience vomiting or diarrhea.
To keep your dog from ingesting large amounts of ice melt products, keep him from eating snow or drinking from puddles.
A dog that ingests 4g (less than 1 oz.) of sodium chloride per 1kg (2.3 lbs.) of body weight could die. That would mean a dog that weighs only 4 lbs. would only need to eat about 2 ounces of ice melt containing sodium chloride before resulting in death.
When using ice-melting products around your pet, consider using non-toxic brands, such as Safe Paws or Morton Safe-T-Pet. These products do not contain salt or chloride.
Another alternative for pet owners are dog socks or boots. Simply put the socks or boots on your dog's paws before going out. The dog's paws will be protected from any salt that is on the sidewalks. Most dog socks and boots can be machine-washed after use.
Most people will have to use some sort of ice-melting product this winter. As a pet owner, it is not difficult to protect your animals. Use a non-toxic ice melt product, clean your dogs paws or use dog socks or boots this winter.
Throughout the United States, the greatest potential for the weather to disrupt outdoor plans and festivities on Easter Sunday exists across the Plains.
A low pressure system has begun to spread heavy rain over parts of the Southeast, bringing the risk of flooding to the area.
At least 12 are dead and three are still missing after an avalanche cascaded down a climbing route on Mount Everest early Friday morning.
Showers across much of Europe will make for a soggy day or two through the Easter holiday.
While Pittsburgh will start the weekend on a mild note, even warmer air is expected for Easter Sunday.
Dry weather from Easter weekend will hold through Monday in Boston for Patriots' Day and the 118th annual Boston Marathon.
Central Europe (1991)
Cold outbreak: 12" of snow in the Swiss Alps; temperature dropped to 26 degrees in Berlin.
Lexington, MA (1775)
Lexington-Concord Day; crisp anticyclone morning at 0700: 45.7 degrees, 29 56" rising, wind west, force 1, "very fair" sky - Prof. Winthrop noted at Cambridge, MA: "Battle of Concord will put a stop to observing."
Southern New Hampshire (1785)
Last snow of a famous late winter raised snow cover to 3 feet. Crust that supported horses that morning began to dissolve that afternoon.