If your furry friends spend a lot of time outside near your newly sealcoated driveway, there are a few precautions to keep in mind. Cats and dogs have sensitive respiratory systems, and their paws might get covered in tar or other toxic substances.

This article is intended to provide further information on your pet’s safety as it pertains to sealcoating.

Pet safety and sealcoating

Water-Based vs Solvent Sealers

If your sealcoated driveway has dried and you used a water-based sealer, there’s generally nothing to worry about. If your sealcoated driveway is still wet, you used a solvent-based sealer, and your cat or dog has walked across it, this could be harmful to their paws or lungs.

Coal Tar-Based Sealers

Some coal tar sealants contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, which can be dangerous when the driveway gets wet and there’s runoff. If your cat or dog walks through it and licks their paws, this can be toxic even if the sealcoated driveway has already dried. If you have active outdoor pets, be sure to use a sealer that’s not coal tar-based. 

What To Do if Your Cat or Dog Walks On a Freshly Sealcoated Driveway

If your cat or dog walks on a freshly sealcoated driveway, wash their paws as soon as you can, preferably with Dawn soap as it will cut through the sticky tar. The Dawn soap is even more effective if you use vegetable oil first, as it will dissolve the tar even faster. 

Once their paws are clean, watch for any signs of illness, such as vomiting or lethargy, and watch their paws for any signs of irritation such as a rash or peeling. If this occurs, contact your vet as soon as possible.

What To Do if Your Cat or Dog Eats Asphalt

While it’s far more common for dogs to accidentally ingest foreign materials and objects, cats who spend a lot of time outdoors might accidentally eat them too. In either case, ingested asphalt can cause chemical burns on the inside of the cat or dog’s mouth and might damage their internal organs.

If you try to make your cat or dog vomit, this could make things worse because the acid in the esophagus could cause chemical burns. Contact your vet or pet hospital immediately. If you can’t get them to the vet or pet hospital right away, one vet’s suggestion is to try a mixture of water and milk in a 50-50 ratio; initially half a cup and then two tablespoons every 15 minutes. This will help to neutralize the burning.

My Cat Walked on Asphalt and I Can’t Get it Off His Paws

Cats aren’t always the most cooperative when it comes to their owners touching their paws, so there might be a situation where the asphalt dries completely on your cat’s paws and you can’t get it off. You can use mayonnaise, peanut butter, or oil to try to dissolve it, and wrap the paw up so your cat won’t lick it. Try to loosen the tar with a small comb or pet brush. Once the tar has dissolved, wash your cat’s paw with Dawn soap which will break down any remaining oils.

Collett Sealcoating can help you find a sealcoating solution that works for you and keeps your pets safe. If you don’t want to treat the whole driveway because you’re worried about your cat or dog walking on it, Collett Sealcoating offers asphalt patching services as well.

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