The Dangers Of Antifreeze To Pets and Wildlife.


 While it is lovely to experience some crisp, winter days – there is one thing pet owners need to be very aware of – Antifreeze. It’s a subject we’ve raised before but, since this product can be so dangerous, Holidays4Dogs revisits the subject of antifreeze and pets, as winter tightens its icy grip. Read on to find out more on anti-freeze dangers for pets and wildlife.

The chemicals in antifreeze can be lethal to animals. Cats and dogs are often at greater risk. This is because the taste of the chemical is attractive to animals. It is a very sweet-tasting substance and tempting for animals to lick.

antifreeze and pets

Be careful not to spill.

Many people resort to antifreeze to keep their cars running over winter. However, the liquid can run off vehicles and puddles on the floor, making it easily accessible to cats and dogs. Even a small amount can prove fatal to a dog.

Every winter, anti-freeze dangers for pets and wildlife become a very real problem. It is, therefore, really important to use these products carefully and responsibly.

The chemicals can also act very fast in the body. Without treatment, a pet can die within 24 hours. Others may suffer serious kidney damage within a matter of hours of ingesting antifreeze.

Signs and symptoms: –

  • One of the most common signs is excessive drooling, malaise and possibly vomiting.

  • Evidence of green/blue coloured fluid on the dog’s muzzle, fur, or around the base of the tail.

  • Wobbling, or lack of coordination in movement.

  • Excessive thirst.

  • Head tremors.


Can my pet be treated for anti-freeze poisoning?

Dogs may seem to recover from the symptoms after a few hours, but may then refuse to eat. This could be an indication of kidney damage setting in. There is an antidote for anti-freeze poisoning called fomepizole. It is used to treat both humans and animals.

However, this must be administered within 8-12 hours of the animal ingesting the substance. If you suspect you’re pet has ingested anti-freeze products, it is crucial you seek veterinary attention immediately as time is of the essence.


It is important to be mindful of the potential dangers of anti-freeze when using these products this winter. The dangers of anti-freeze to pets and wildlife is a very real one.

There is an online petition in the UK which is calling for the government to add bittering agents to all antifreeze products. This would make them less palatable to animals, including wildlife such as hedgehogs and badgers.

However, the petition has been ongoing for some time and we can find no new information on endeavours to make anti-freeze safer.

The RSPCA support this campaign and you can access the petition here: