There Is No Such Thing As Safe Ice


Winter is in full swing and brings with it snow and ice. The colder temperatures keep a lot of people and pets indoors, but, eventually, some get cabin fever and have to explore.

Snow is safer to play in and walk on than ice. You can build a snowman, go snowshoeing, or make snow angels with your pets.

Ice, on the other hand, is dangerous. Not only is it slippery, but any body of water that has frozen over can break at any moment. That would result in a life-threatening situation for you or your pet.


Here are some helpful facts about ice

There are many factors that play into how strong and ‘safe’ ice is. When evaluating ice you need to look at the age and color of the ice, whether it is covered in snow, its thickness, and the temperature outside. Then once you assess all of that, you have to factor in the water current below and the size of the body of water. Now you see why ice is unpredictable and dangerous. Minnesota DNR and Canadian Red Cross provide in-depth safety tips to keep everyone safe on the ice.

1. Fresh, clear blue ice is the strongest. For depth, it needs to be at least 4 inches to walk on, but it not advised.

2. All ice is not the same thickness. No body of water will have a uniform sheet of ice. One area could be 6 inches deep, and then a few steps farther could be 2 inches.


3. Ice near the shore is not always the weakest, but it can be.

4. Snow adds weight to the ice and does not allow it to freeze properly. So if you see snow on ice, it is weaker and not able to hold as much weight.

During the winter, you have to be extra cautious, because dogs are curious and will follow a scent right into trouble. The best way to protect them is to keep them on a leash.


Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast who lives in West Michigan. Her horse and 3 dogs are her children. She loves to write and share her knowledge of equine and canine nutrition. In her spare time she likes to volunteer with animal rescues, camp with her husband and dogs, and trail ride with her horse.
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