The average person considers their pet an important member of their family. Pet owners will happily skip meals, drive old vehicles, and purchase clothing at thrift stores if that’s what it takes to keep their pets happy and healthy. Some will even boycott any business that they feel doesn’t make an effort to keep their property safe for pets.
Pet-safe ice melts are one of the best tools business owners can have in their arsenals when it comes to keeping pet owners happy. The challenge is in determining how to keep walkways, driveways, and parking lots safe for both four-legged and two-legged customers during the winter months.
How Ice and Snow Cause Problems for Pet-Friendly Businesses
Winter in Northern climates means you can stop worrying about how to maintain your business’s landscaping, but it also means you have to worry about potential slip and fall accidents. A customer stepping on a patch of ice in front of your pet supply business can be a big problem for your small business, for example. Here are some noteworthy figures:
- Insurance companies estimate that 10% of the annual claims they receive from small businesses are the result of slip and fall accidents.
- The average cost of an incident is about $20,000, assuming the customer doesn’t file a lawsuit.
- Customers file suits approximately 35% of the time.
- If the customer decides to sue, the single incident can cost the small business $75,000.
- If the person’s slip and fall accident also injures a pet that they were bringing to you, the cost of the incident will be even higher.
The good news is that your insurance company will foot the bill, but the bad news is that your annual insurance premiums will go up if your business is involved in a slip and fall incident.
Ice Melts Reduce Slip and Fall Episodes
The best way to reduce the risk of slip and fall incidents in your parking lots and on your walkways is through the use of ice melts during winter months. Ice melts are created by blending an assortment of chemicals that are designed to quickly melt ice. They keep walkways and parking lots free of ice longer than rock salt — and keep working as temperatures fall.
Rock salt only effectively melts ice if the temperature is above 5°F, by comparison. High-quality ice melts continue working when the temperature drops to -15°F.
The problem with ice melts is that some of the chemicals used can have devastating impacts on the health of your customers’ pets. Ingesting certain types can cause dogs to develop intensely upset stomachs, and there have even been some reports of canine deaths related to ice melts. In most cases, the dogs ingest the ice melt after licking their paws.
Operating a pet-friendly business doesn’t mean you can’t also use ice melts, though. You just need to make sure you use one that is pet safe.
What to Look for in Pet Safe Ice Melts
When it comes to ice melts, it’s important to understand that some are far safer for pets to walk on than others. These five are preferred by pet owners and pet-friendly businesses. You want to look for ice melts that won’t burn paws or damage your customers’ shoes, and yet will still keep ice from forming on your walkways.
Safe Paw Ice Melter
Safe Paw Ice Melter is not only considered safe for dogs, cats, and humans, but also does a wonderful job of melting ice and keeping your parking lot, walkways, and sidewalks safe. This ice melt is shaped in super-concentrated pellets that are designed so that a small amount melts ice in a surprisingly large area.
In addition to being non-toxic to humans and pets, Safe Paw Ice Melter doesn’t do any damage to brick, asphalt, and concrete you spread it on and is also non-toxic to plants. That means you don’t have to worry about how your landscaping will look after the spring thaw.
You can purchase different sized containers of Safe Paw Ice Melter. It is timed release, too, so you’ll enjoy three days of melted ice after you’ve applied it to your walkways. The biggest drawback is that pets and customers will leave footprints in your business entrance after walking on it, so you’ll want to invest in heavy-duty floor mats for the doors.
Natural Rapport Pet-Friendly Ice Melt
Pet-Friendly Ice Melt by Natural Rapport is also a wonderful choice for your business. It is made out of magnesium calcium acetate, which doesn’t burn through pet paws, and includes an added organic ingredient that helps reduce corrosion — something your car-driving customers will appreciate. This ice melt not only keeps ice from forming on your walkways, but also stops some of the binding process that happens with snow and concrete. The lack of binding makes shoveling snow easier.
Paw Thaw Ice Melt for Dogs
The main component in Paw Thaw Ice Melt for Dogs is propylene glycol, which is found in many products like beauty products, veterinarian products, and even food. Paw Thaw Ice Melt for Dogs is fast-acting, non-corrosive, easy to use, affordable, and easy to clean up. One of the really nice things is that it also roughens the surface of extremely thick ice, providing traction until the sheet finally melts.
The biggest drawback to Paw Thaw Ice Melt for Dogs is that it doesn’t work as long as other pet-safe ice melts, so you’ll want to apply it to your walkways and parking lots more often.
The same is true for reminding your customers that they need to continue to observe social distancing recommendations. You can use parking lot striping to make bigger parking lot spaces and to block off parts of the parking lot that don’t allow for social distancing during their restaurant curbside pickup. You can even paint messages on the parking lot that remind your customers to observe social distancing recommendations.
Partner with a Paving Expert You Trust
The thing to keep in mind when you’re considering ice melts is that none is 100% safe for pets. All of these ice melts are considered safe for pet paws, but some may still cause upset stomach if ingested. It’s best to remind your customers that their pets should not eat the snow or drink from puddles of melting snow to avoid consuming too much of the product. It is also wise to urge them to wipe their pet’s paws as soon as they get home.
Are you the owner of a pet-friendly business and worried about how you’re going to manage snow and ice removal this winter? Contact Limitless Paving & Concrete about our commercial parking lot snow removal services to set up a consultation and learn more about the services we provide. You’ll be glad you did!