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Cold Weather Pet Toxins Your Animal Friend Should Avoid

December 15, 2020

Although wintertime doesn’t get as cold here in Texas as it does in other parts of the country, it can still be pretty chilly, especially at night. And with colder weather comes a few common pet hazards to be aware of. Below, your Helotes, TX veterinarian tells you about these dangers and how to keep your pet safe and sound. 


You might add antifreeze to your vehicle’s engine to keep it functioning properly during cold spells. Did you know that many types of antifreeze are very dangerous for pets? The culprit is ethylene glycol, a toxic alcohol used in many antifreeze brands that can poison a pet quickly. Even worse, it tastes and smells sweet, potentially attracting pets. Use antifreeze carefully and store the product where pets can’t reach.

Ice Melt

Ice melting chemicals and road salt can easily be tracked in on a pet’s paws and licked off later, and that can result in an upset stomach at the very least, and a case of poisoning at worst. When outdoors with your pet in cold weather, avoid icy patches. If you have ice melt or road salt in your home, store it somewhere that your pet won’t gain access. 

Pesticide Products

When the temperatures start dropping, small pests like insects and rodents seek warmth inside our homes. Many homeowners use pesticide products to ward them off. Remember that pesticides and rodenticides are, in fact, poisons—they can hurt your house pet just as easily as the pests they’re made to kill! Place pesticides with extreme caution, and use pet-safe versions whenever possible. 

Winter Plants

Did you know that a variety of plants and flowers that thrive during chilly weather can be harmful to pets? The list includes chrysanthemums, Autumn crocus, lilies, Amaryllis, and poinsettias, among others. Ask your vet what kind of harmful plant life is common in your area, and get rid of any offenders in your home or garden immediately. 


Cold and flu season will be here shortly. And that means more medication lying around in your home. Things like aspirin and cough syrup can actually poison a pet easily, not to mention other medicines like antidepressants and a variety of prescription drugs. Keep your medications where pets can’t reach! 

Learn more about winter pet safety by calling your Helotes, TX vet clinic. We’re here to help keep your pet happy and healthy in every season!