As the nights draw in there is definitely more than a hint of frost in the air and the antifreeze may be coming out to keep our cars running smoothly…. but did you know that antifreeze is highly toxic to dogs and cats??

Antifreeze may appeal to our pets as a tasty festive drink – usually lapped up from the garage floor after it leaks from a car radiator – but in reality the ethylene glycol it contains can cause acute kidney failure, affect the brain and liver, and even be rapidly fatal.

Symptoms to watch for:

If you think your pet could have been exposed to antifreeze, it’s important that they see a vet as soon as possible. Typical symptoms can be incoordination, vomiting, diarrhoea, excessive urination, fast heart rate, dullness, weakness, trembling, seizures or even coma.


  • Make sure any antifreeze containers are kept tightly sealed where pets cannot reach them
  • If any antifreeze is spilled, clean it up thoroughly and straight away
  • Frequently check your car radiator for leaks, and have them fixed immediately
  • Be sure not to allow your dog unsupervised near driveways, garages, etc. where antifreeze could have been spilled
  • If using antifreeze, choose one containing propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol – this can still be toxic if enough is consumed but is less dangerous