The Dangers of Antifreeze For Your Dog

antifreezeWith colder weather rapidly approaching, antifreeze is becoming a more prevalent substance to find laying around on the sidewalk or street. Ethylene glycol is the main ingredient in antifreeze and is extremely toxic to animals. It can lead to rapid kidney failure and death within a very short period of time.

One of the main problems with antifreeze is that it has a sweetish taste that attracts dogs and cats to it and tempts them to take a taste. Even a small amount can be fatal so all steps must be taken to keep your pets away from this chemical and to know the signs of antifreeze poisoning.

If you observe your dog lapping up a leak of what you suspect to be antifreeze, bring him to the vet right away. The first symptoms of antifreeze poisoning are confusion and depression, vomiting, seizures, unsteadiness while moving, increased thirst and increased urination (the last two are caused by the kidneys shutting down).

Once your pet arrives at the veterinarian’s office or emergency clinic they will start him on an intravenous drip of ethanol (grain alcohol) that will counter act the antifreeze. Blood and urine samples will help your vet diagnose if he has indeed ingested antifreeze if you are unsure.

If left untreated the kidneys will continue to break down and the dog will experience loss of appetite, further seizures and will soon be unable to urinate. Death will soon follow.

Please remember to keep ALL antifreeze away from pets and make sure that you dispose of any paper towels or rags that have been used to mop up spills of the substance far away from your beloved pets.

There is now a product out called Sierra Antifreeze that does not contain ethylene glycol and instead uses propylene glycol, which has been known to be much safer for animals. For more information you can visit their FAQ here :

For the second article in our winter safety series, check out our article on Dogs and Frostbite.


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