5 Tips to Prevent Antifreeze Poisoning in Dogs and Cats


Did you that the Humane Society of the U.S. estimates that over 10,000 pets die each year from antifreeze poisoning? All of us here at Wet Noses Pet Sitting in Fort Collins want to warn you about this deadly household danger. As responsible pet owners you should know what antifreeze poisoning is, as well as what the symptoms of poisoning are. Keep reading to learn more about how to prevent antifreeze poisoning in dogs and cats.

Why is antifreeze so dangerous?

The deadly ingredient in antifreeze is ethylene glycol.  Antifreeze has a sweet taste and smell that animals like to eat. If you see your pet ingest antifreeze, seek immediate medical attention.  This dangerous chemical is metabolized in the liver. It then travels in the bloodstream to your pet’s kidneys. Permanent kidney damage can result which may lead to renal failure.  If your pet is caught in the act of ingestion, he has the best chance at being treated in a timely manner, increasing his chance of surviving ethylene glycol poisoning.

What are the symptoms of antifreeze poisoning?

If you don’t catch him in the act, you can still look for symptoms.  The first signs of ethylene glycol poisoning are: depression, lethargy, and grogginess.  Your pet may also seem disoriented or may seem to have trouble with his coordination.  These first symptoms may be noticeable from 30 minutes to one hour after your pet comes in contact with ethylene glycol. This first stage of symptoms can last for several hours.  In the second, more serious stage, your pet may experience vomiting, ulcers, renal failure and coma.  If your pet is not treated promptly, death may result.

The best prevention is education, so you’re on the right track.  You might be wondering be wondering how you can prevent ethylene glycol poison.  Here are five tips to keep your pets safe:

  1. Don’t let your dog or cat out unattended, especially in areas like garages, roads or driveways.
  2. Always monitor your pet for behavioral changes.
  3. Keep your antifreeze in a sealed container and well out of the way of your pets (and children).
  4. If a spill happens, keep your pet away from the area and clean it up immediately.
  5. Consider purchasing a brand of antifreeze that contains propylene glycol as its active ingredient. This is a less toxic chemical and has a bitter taste to it so your pet won’t be as tempted to ingest it.

Antifreeze poisoning is a serious and deadly chemical. Keep your pet safeguarded by following the tips above to prevent antifreeze poisoning. All chemicals are dangerous to your pet so keep them in an area that is out of your pets reach.  Remember; always consult your vet at the first sign of antifreeze poisoning. Your prompt action may mean the difference between life death. If you have any questions on how you can further protect your pet, please contact us at Wet Noses Pet Sitting in Fort Collins or your local pet sitter.