If we had a time machine, we could watch ten years younger me walking my dog, Mike, down a snowy, Brooklyn street. If we followed for another block, we’d see Mike abruptly sit, stare up at me (sadly), lift one paw, then the other. I would audibly sigh, pick up my 50-pound dog and trudge back home.

Why? Salt.

With the winter season just on the horizon, we have a lot to worry about. Holiday shopping, icy roads and drunken revelers are just a few. For dog owners, though, you have another concern: ice melt is just not good for your dogs.

Most ice melt contains either sodium chloride or calcium chloride which, according to Accuweather.com, can really irritate your dog’s paws. In addition, Petplace.com warns that after a walk, most dogs lick their feet. The ingestion of salt can “cause oral irritation, drooling, nausea and vomiting.” In large enough doses, it can be fatal.

If you think about it, rock salt is sort of like credits and debits. Great! Two-legged, shoe wearing humans don’t go slip sliding away across the pavement. Bad! Our four-legged, generally non-shoe wearing dogs are going to have sore paws. So, what can you do to make sure your puppies are safe this winter? Here are a few things to consider:

1) Well, shoes. Many companies sell all weather dog shoes. For example, Chewy.com has reasonably priced boots that are sort of cute.

2) If your dog is like mine, shoes will not be an option. In this case, try to avoid places that you can obviously tell have been salted. Try to stay to snow covered grass or places that don’t have a lot of shops and restaurants. Obviously, stores will try the hardest to avoid slip and fall lawsuits and, therefore, go overboard on the ice melt.

3) If your dog won’t wear shoes and you can’t avoid shops, make sure you wipe your dog’s paws thoroughly upon returning home. Petplace.com also recommends a product called Paw Plunger. This thing looks like a cup with a device at the top that is meant to clean all sorts of stuff off a dog’s feet. Honestly, I sort of want one now.

Just like your (well-behaved) children are welcome to come to your Bourke Accounting appointment, so is your dog. Your Bourke Accounting expert will patiently wait while you wipe Roxie’s paws or take off her little shoes. I don’t believe that those boots will be tax deductible (unless you have a guard dog for your scrap metal yard. There are deductions for “business animals”) but your Bourke Accountant associate can find other, legal tax deductions that will have you wagging your tail (I couldn’t resist and I am sorry).

Come see us any time. Our number is 502-451-8773 and don’t forget to visit our website at www.bourkeaccounting.com. See you soon!

Written by Sue H.