In the winter, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of antifreeze, a sweet-smelling, sweet-tasting poison that’s particularly attractive to animals.

The primary active ingredient of antifreeze is Ethylene Glycol. You may remember that “glycol” is a sugar alcohol – a tempting concoction to a pet.

And it’s not just antifreeze in puddles under your car. An animal that stepped into leaked antifreeze on a street or driveway could come home, lick the chemical residue off his paws and become very sick and die. Sadly, some people also use antifreeze on sidewalks during icy weather.

Most antifreezes have a bittering agent added to the ethylene glycol to give it a taste that should repel pets from drinking it. This does not always work. Dogs are notorious for eating and drinking just about anything without really stopping to taste it first.

It’s up to you to take precautions and be cautious.

Symptoms of Antifreeze Poisoning:

  1. Within 30 minutes to an hour, an affected animal may act lethargic, disoriented, and clumsy.
  2. Symptoms that may be exhibited up to three days after ingestion are vomiting, kidney failure, coma, and death.

If you suspect your pet has lapped up – or licked off – antifreeze, it’s very important to act quickly and get medical attention. Thousands of pets die needlessly every year due to the chemical’s extreme toxicity.

Preventative Steps

  1. Discard waste antifreeze safely. Check with your local sewage treatment office and find out about recycling centers. Some gas stations may charge a small fee to recycle used antifreeze. Never discard antifreeze in storm sewers, septic systems, waterways, or even on the ground.
  2. Keep unused antifreeze well sealed and out of reach of small children and pets.
  3. Wipe off paws after walks, or if you suspect your cat or dog have been outside where antifreeze may have leaked onto the ground.

With a few precautions, you can keep your furry babies safe out there in the cold. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about your dog’s health.