Fact Finder: Pet friendly rock salt

This time of year, people are stocking up on rock salt trying to melt the ice.

If you are a pet owner, you have probably noticed stores offering "pet friendly" salt products.

But are they effective?

And are they worth the extra money?

7&4 news spoke to the experts.

Our number one seller is our Ace Brand Ice Melt|its Potassium Chloride|it is the most common one...we do have customers who come in and they are looking for ice melt for pets and we do have a pet salt product, said Ace Hardware Manager, Jason Gothard.

But what is the difference between "regular salt" and "pet friendly salt"?

The answer is in the ingredients.

It TMs mainly just the ingredients that are in it. Magnesium vs. Potassium. Potassium can have a little more of an effect on pet's paws. If they do ingest it or lick their paws, they can get sick, said Gothard.

According to local animal experts, that is typically what happens when an animal has a reaction to salt.

Veterinarian Jen Klabunde has a pet hospital in Grand Traverse County.

She said she has seen several cases where dogs had a serious reaction to "normal" rock salt.

Well I have seen pets where they have been lying on pretty caustic salt and they get burns on their stomach, on their abdomen and inner legs...vomiting and diarrhea if they ingest the salt and have a reaction, said Dr. Klabunde. If you are worried about your pet, pet friendly salt melt is the way to go.

Dr. Kladunde also points out that not every dog will have an allergic reaction to normal rock salt.

When it comes down to choosing your salt, there is another very important factor to point out. Price.

At Ace Hardware in Traverse City, $9.49 will get you an 11 pound bag of "regular" salt.

That same price will get you eight pounds of "pet friendly" ice melt.

You are looking at maybe a few dollars more per bag or per container. Its really not that much more if people want something that is not going to harm their pet, said Gothard.

We want to know what you think.

Is it worth spending a few extra dollars to protect your pet?

Have you ever even had any problems using regular salt?

Leave your thoughts below.