Last evening as I arrived home, the freezing rain was still coming down and my entire driveway, sidewalk and steps were coated in ice. So before I went in I made sure to sprinkle some ice melt on all those surfaces, particularly where I knew we would be walking. This morning when I went out to brush off the vehicles I could tell the ice melt coupled with the higher temperatures was still doing its job, which made getting out to my cars easier this morning, despite the snow cover, than it had been to go into the house last night.

Now if you have pets, please make sure you're not using the regular ice melt. According to an article I found at Dogsnaturally, that stuff can burn their paws, cause gastrointestinal issues when they lick their paws to relieve the burning sensation and, in worst-case scenarios, can trigger seizures if ingested in large quantities. Look for pet-safe products that contain chemicals like calcium magnesium acetate, urea, modified crystalline carbonyl diamide, Eco Safe Glycol or Colorants (should be food grade). Stay away from any so-called pet-safe ice melts with the warnings: ”Keep away from children,” "causes irritation to eyes, skin, etc.," or "harmful if swallowed." Carefully research the product you're considering to buy before you make that purchase.

Also remember just because you use pet-safe ice melt, the city and your neighbors probably don't. After you take your pet for a walk, make sure to thoroughly clean and dry their feet.