Editor's note: Animal Arts is an architectural firm specializing in horses, animals and veterinary facilities.
Question for Animal Arts
What do you look for in products you put on paths to ensure they are safe for horses and other animals? Does salt "eat" blacktop and concrete?
Answer From Animal Arts
We would recommend avoiding rock salt and any other salt-based deicing agent for a couple of reasons. Yes, salt does degrade surfaces, especially metals, but it also can harm concrete. Salt also is not good for pets or vegetation.
We would recommend first doing the basic things such as deflecting downspouts away from sidewalks and horse paths to prevent ice buildup. Second, use sand for adding traction rather than deicer, if sand will do the trick. If you still have a really icy spot, then consider using a pet-safe deicer such as Safe Paw. This deicer is safe for small animal paws and the environment. It also has a history of use around horses.
As a last word, keep all deicers, even safe ones, out of paddocks. We don’t really know what would happen if horses ingested a large amount.
You can find out more about Animal Arts at AnimalArts.com.