Most aren't aware and even I wasn't before joining Little Shelter, most ice melt is toxic to animals. I've seen my dogs and others on walks this winter suddenly stop or begin to hop on 3 legs to avoid stepping on salted roads.
There are some solutions available to pet owners who want to continue walking their dogs in the frosty winter. One such method is making your dog wear doggie boots. I've seen many hilarious attempts as dogs try to figure out how exactly to walk. To get your pet use to boots put them on for a few minutes each day, allowing your pet to become more comfortable with them.
Another solid solution is to apply a protective balm to your pets paws. Applying the balm allows your pet to avoid the dangers of walking on the toxic salt, just make sure your pet doesn't have issues with you touching their feet! There are a few brands sold in pet stores as well as even petroleum jelly is a solid alternative.
Make sure after every walk to wipe off your pets paws, removing all the harmful chemicals and salts that have accumulated during the walk. Not doing this could have some health concerns for your pet after time.
Of course, if your pet mostly walks around your backyard there are salt brands that are non-toxic and do not harm your pets feet. These brands are often found around the same price as toxic pet salts, so the cost isn't a big difference. Whenever we need to get ice melt to keep our animals, staff, and volunteers safe we only buy pet approved brands.