Antifreeze Presents a Cold Weather Danger | PetFirst
Pet Care & Health

Antifreeze Presents A Cold Weather Danger

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
11 years ago

As chilly weather approaches and people are winterizing their automobiles, antifreeze presents a danger to pets.

The Humane Society of the United States estimates that 10,000 companion animals die each year from antifreeze poisoning.

Image showing a dog licking the ground, with the message "Antifreeze: The Potent Poison Pets Love to Lick Off the Ground" displayed in green and red text to the left.

It takes only a few tablespoons of highly toxic antifreeze to jeopardize a pet’s life, so pet parents need to know how to protect their dogs and cats. Ethylene glycol, the main ingredient in almost all major antifreeze brands, has an inviting aroma and a sweet flavor.

There is an alternative with propylene glycol antifreeze, which has a bitter taste making it less attractive to pets. Although it’s safer than ethylene glycol antifreeze, propylene glycol antifreeze is still toxic. There are several steps you can take to prevent antifreeze poisoning:

  • Switch to a brand of antifreeze that contains propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol.
  • Keep antifreeze sealed and away from animals; clean up spills completely, and fix any leaks immediately.
  • Share these tips with your neighbors to ensure they are taking the same precautions.
  • Monitor your pets for strange behavior. If you think they may have ingested antifreeze, take them to a veterinarian immediately.

Symptoms of antifreeze poisoning are usually visible within 30 minutes of ingestion. Pets that appear lethargic, disoriented, uncoordinated and groggy should be taken to the veterinarian quickly.

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