If you live in a cold-weather region, chances are you’re going to have to use de-icing salt from time to time. While those crystals have seemingly magic ice-melting capabilities, they can be harmful to your pet. If you live in a pet-friendly apartment, here are some buying tips to have a pet-friendly winter-weather season:

Problem With Regular Driveway Salt

Regular de-icing salt can burn your pet’s paws if the crystals happen to get stuck. Also, if your cat or dog consumes the salt, it could be bad for its health.

Pet-Friendly De-icers

There are a variety of manufacturers that make pet-friendly de-icers. While the ingredients in the various brands differ, some are 100 percent salt- and chloride-free. Additionally, they claim to melt instantly, which helps limit the chance of the pelts becoming lodged in your dog or cat’s paws. Also, it’s important for the de-icer to be non-toxic so it’s safe to be used around children and animals.

Other Pet-Friendly Tips

While it’s a good idea to purchase pet-friendly de-icers, there are ways to limit its use in general. They are designed to help loosen up compacted snow and ice, not to melt everything. So use it sparingly and get out and shovel instead.