The Dangers of Antifreeze and Pets.


We have been experiencing some particularly icy, wintry weather across the UK. While it is lovely to experience some crisp, snowy 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 we revisit the subject of antifreeze and pets as winter tightens its icy grip.

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 actually 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 puddle on the floor making it easily accessible to cats and dogs. Even a small amount can prove fatal to a dog.

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.

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. This would make them less palatable to animals, including wildlife such as hedgehogs and badgers. However, the petition has been on-going 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: