The Dangers of Antifreeze and Pets.

It probably won’t be too long before we begin to experience some cold winter weather and while it is lovely to experience some nice crisp wintry days – possibly with some snow thrown in! – there is one thing that 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 have decided to re-visit the dangers of antifreeze as the winter season rolls in.

The chemicals in antifreeze can be lethal to animals and cats and dogs are often at greatest risk – unfortunately, this is because the taste of the chemical is actually attractive to animals – it is very sweet tasting and tempting for animals to lick.

Many people resort to antifreeze to keep their cars running over winter but the problem is the liquid can run off vehicles and puddle on the floor making it easily accessible to cats and dogs.  Even a small amount can prove fatal to a dog with just 4.4ml of the liquid being ingested.

The chemicals also act very fast and without treatment a pet can die within 24 hours, or at least 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 coloured fluid on the dog’s muzzle, fur or around the base of the tail.
  • Wobbling or un-coordination in movement.
  • Excessive thirst.
  • Head tremors.

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.

It is important to be mindful of the potential dangers when using these products this winter.

There is an on-line petition in the UK which is calling for government to add bittering agents to all antifreeze products to make them less palatable to animals; including wildlife such as hedgehogs and badgers.  The RSPCA support this campaign and you can access the petition here: