primary component of antifreeze is ethylene glycol,
which is very toxic. But
some companies now offer antifreeze made with propylene glycol, which
is only about a third as toxic as ethylene glycol.
has a sweet aroma and taste, which dogs find particularly appealing. Thristy
cats may also be attracted. As little as half a teaspoon of spilled antifreeze
can kill an average-sized cat, and eight ounces can kill a 75-pound dog.
Unless you catch it early, the damage to pets' kidneys can be irreversible.
Spilled or leaked antifreeze also washes into rivers and lakes, harming
fish and other wildlife.
New and safer formulations of
antifreeze are now available to consumers. These formulas replace ethylene
glycol with propylene glycol. Although not entirely safe, an animal would
have to ingest three times as much propylene glycol before
it proved fatal. Propylene glycol is also recyclable and biodegradable,
making it a safer and heatlhier choice.
In terms of automotive performance, propylene glycol is almost identical
to ethylene glycol. Your car will not notice the difference.
Propylene glycol is sold under the brand names Sierra,
Prestone Low Tox and Texaco PG. There
may be others as well. It's a little more expensive than regular coolant.
Most cases of antifreeze poisoning in dogs and cats occur around the pet's
own home.The following precautions should be taken to keep pets safe from
• Clean up antifreeze
Check the ground beneath your car's engine regularly for leaks. A green
or blue liquid indicates antifreeze.
• Store antifreeze in clearly marked containers out of your children's
and pet's reach.
• Never allow your pet to have access to the area when you are draining
antifreeze from your car.
• If you suspect that your pet has ingested antifreeze, contact
your veterinarian immediately.
product information resources:
Prestone Low Tox MSDS
Prestone Low Tox specifications
Additional resources for antifreeze poisoning:
information is available online.
An emergency hotline--1-888-4-ANI-HELP-- provides round-the-clock telephone