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Pet-Friendly Snow Removal: What Options Are Out There?

Pet-Friendly Snow Removal: What Options Are Out There?

Winter isn’t going anywhere, and for those of us with furry friends, it's important to keep them safe during the snowy season. Snow removal is an essential part of winter maintenance, but traditional methods can be harmful to our pets. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of pet-friendly snow removal and offer some tips to keep your pets safe and sound.

Using Pet-Friendly De-Icers

Road salt and other de-icers can be dangerous to pets, especially if ingested. These products can cause irritation to their paws and skin, even leading to digestive discomfort or poisoning.

To avoid these risks, it's best to use pet-friendly snow removal alternatives.There are several options on the market, including those made with magnesium chloride, calcium magnesium acetate, and potassium chloride. These de-icers are much safer for pets and won't harm their paws, skin, or digestive systems.

Shoveling with Your Pet in Mind

When it comes to shoveling snow, it's essential to keep your pet in mind. Snowbanks can become high, obstructing your pet's path and making it challenging to get around. Be sure to shovel a path for your furry friend to walk on, and create an area for them to do their business that's not covered in snow. Also, avoid piling snow in areas where your pet likes to play, as this can be dangerous and frustrating for them.

Warm Your Pet’s Paws With Heated Mats

Shoveling and deicing have their uses, but it may not work for everyone - especially for pet owners with disabilities, injuries, or mobility issues. Heated snow melting mats - like HeatTrak - are an excellent option for advanced, low-maintenance snow removal made to last for many seasons. These mats can keep walkways clear, our adventurous pets can experience the outdoors without being buried in snow or fear of slipping. HeatTrak Snow & Ice Melting Mats are also designed to automatically rise just above the outdoor temperature to melt the incoming snow, so the mats don't pose a burn risk. Depending on you and your pet’s needs, these mats can be a worthwhile investment.

Keeping Your Pet Warm and Dry

Winter weather can be brutal, and our pets need protection from the elements. When taking your pet outside, make sure they are dressed appropriately for the temperature. Invest in a good quality coat or sweater to keep them warm and dry. Also, be sure to dry off their paws and belly when they come inside to prevent snow and ice from clinging to their fur and causing discomfort.


Winter can be a challenging season for pets, but with some pet-friendly snow removal tips, we can keep them safe and sound. Using pet-safe de-icers, shoveling, and heated snow melting mats, these methods are popular, effective ways we can ensure our furry friends stay happy and healthy all winter long.

Remember, a little extra effort goes a long way when it comes to pet safety. Stay warm and enjoy the snow with your furry friends!


Can Shoveling or Snow Blowing Actually Affect Your Heart? Here’s What to Know.

Can Shoveling or Snow Blowing Actually Affect Your Heart? Here’s What to Know.

In previous blog posts, we’ve gone over the potential risks of shoveling, including the most common injuries and how it can affect heart health. However, more information has been released regarding the latter, thanks to research conducted by the American Heart Association.

What the Research is Saying

The American Heart Association (AHA), a global nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health, funds scientific research to help fight heart disease and stroke. These research efforts have produced groundbreaking results and accumulated respect among medical communities.

The association has compiled and supported several volumes of research in finding connection between cardiovascular health and snow removal methods – notably shoveling and snow blowing. As of December 2022, AHA leaders urge everyone to continue to exercise caution, as removing heavy snow may trigger heart attacks or sudden cardiac arrest.

"Shoveling a little snow off your sidewalk may not seem like hard work. However, the strain of heavy snow shoveling may be as or even more demanding on the heart than taking a treadmill stress test, according to research we’ve conducted.” said Barry Franklin, Ph.D., FAHA,, a professor of internal medicine at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in Royal Oak, Michigan. “For example, after only two minutes of snow shoveling, study participants’ heart rates exceeded 85% of maximal heart rate, which is a level more commonly expected during intense aerobic exercise testing. The impact is hardest on those people who are least fit.”

In addition to these findings, a study conducted in Canada a few years ago found that the chance of heart attack after a snowfall tend to affect men more than women. The study reveals that, compared to no snowfall, a heavy snow was associated with 16% higher odds of men ending up in a hospital with heart complications, with a 34% increase in the chance of men dying from a heart attack.

The risks involved with snow blowing and shoveling don’t exist in a vacuum. The combination of winter’s low temperatures – shown to potentially increase your blood pressure – and physical exertion can also be hard on your heart if you’re not careful.

What Are the Risk Factors?

With medical professionals and researchers warning us on snow removal dangers, you may be the growing body of research regarding snow removal and heart health, it’s worth assessing whether you might be at risk. According to Franklin, "cardiovascular risks like a sedentary lifestyle or obesity, being a current or former smoker, having diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure, as well as people who have had a heart attack or stroke. “People with these characteristics and those who have had bypass surgery or coronary angioplasty simply should not be shoveling snow.”

What You Can Do

Based on Franklin’s insights and what the research says, you may want to know what steps you can do to protect yourself. Taking frequent breaks, knowing your limits, and being aware of your surroundings are key to safer snow removal. Having proper equipment and adhering to manufacturer instructions can also aid in your safety.

With all this said, is shoveling and snow blowing worth the risk? That’s for you to ultimately decide, but exercising caution – whether you are at-risk or not – can prevent injuries and accidents for this winter and next.

If you are considering other snow removal options, check out HeatTrak’s collection of heated mats, designed to melt snow and ice with ease and safety.

Additional Readings & Resources

Cold Weather and Cardiovascular Disease

AHA Scientific Statement