Wouldn't it be De-Ice?
November 26, 2018 7:04 PM   Subscribe

What is the objectively best de-icing agent for a high activity area wherein eaves drip down and freeze and little puppy paws have to traffic?

Our back door is the most frequent point of egress for both humans going to work and the dogs' elimination outings. Just outside it, however, is a constant source of drip and freeze from the eaves. What, currently, is the best chemical de-icing agent that is agreeable to puppy foots and robust enough to work down to 20F? As a side-ish consideration, I would like to hear about melting agents that do NOT poison the soil for future plant growth, in addition to not burning dog paws.
posted by Cold Lurkey to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I would just sprinkle sand on top of the ice for traction. No chemicals involved.
posted by JackFlash at 7:38 PM on November 26, 2018 [5 favorites]

They sell "pet-friendly" deicing salt at stores around here, but I would see about getting a gutter installed to keep the eaves from dripping onto the walkway.
posted by exogenous at 7:39 PM on November 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

I use clay kitty litter for this purpose.
posted by rpfields at 8:04 PM on November 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

If you are worried about salts (even pet friendly ones) from getting in between your pet's toes spray a generous amount of PAM on each of your pupperoni's feet.
posted by Nanukthedog at 8:22 PM on November 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I have a similar icing problem at my back door. These snow mats are a miracle.
posted by dorkydancer at 8:57 PM on November 26, 2018 [4 favorites]

You should also consider the potential problem of tracking your de-icing agent back into the house.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 9:12 PM on November 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

This is not an answer to your question per se, but if you own your house, you might think about having a roofer extend the overhangs next summer. I've lived in houses with 12" overhangs and it is lovely. Alternatively, you could install an awning.
posted by epanalepsis at 5:45 AM on November 27, 2018

We have a similar problem (but no dog) and use the pet-safe salt because it says it's less toxic, but it looks like it would still bother dog paws.

With significant snow accumulations we clear our roof with a roof rake and I strongly encourage you to do this if you don't already, but icicles remain a big problem for us.

I'm actually fascinated by the heated snow mats linked above and would STRONGLY ENCOURAGE anyone with specific experience with that brand or others to relate their experiences.
posted by telepanda at 7:40 AM on November 27, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: dorkydancer, those mats actually look very promising. My only, perhaps silly, worry is about critters. Do they attract heat seeking squirrels or other animals that may like to chew on stuff while they warm their toeses?
posted by Cold Lurkey at 10:54 AM on November 27, 2018

If not sand or kitty litter, you want a de-icing agent that uses magnesium chloride. Ask at any hardware store or home center. They're familiar with the need.
posted by megatherium at 12:04 PM on November 27, 2018

Cold Lurkey, I live right next to state forest land. We’ve had our snow mats for 3 years now and we have never had a critter problem.
posted by dorkydancer at 4:30 PM on November 28, 2018

Response by poster: Hokay then, imma execute on purchase. thank you.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 7:01 PM on November 28, 2018 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: dorkydancer, after a whole winter cycle with a snow mat in place, I wish I could best answer you three times over. A heated mat was perfect, in situ, and no critters tried to eat or nest upon it (although the dog was most interested in sitting her butt down on it when she was tired of the inclement outdoors). No grit or thaw agents were tracked into the house, and we had a perfect staging point for shoveling the snow and ice throughout. Thank you again for the recommendation.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 8:02 PM on April 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

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