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Winter Pet Toxins to Help Your Pet Avoid

December 15, 2018

With wintertime comes a special set of potential pet toxins that can hurt your pet quite seriously. The trick is knowing what to be on the lookout for so that you can keep your pet safe! Learn more below from a Tipp City, OH veterinarian.

Ice Melt

Most types of ice melt contain sodium chloride, otherwise known as salt. You don’t want to have your pet ingest this, either outdoors on an icy patch or after they’ve tracked ice melt indoors on their paws. Salt can lead to skin irritation and an upset stomach in small amounts, and it can poison your pet in larger doses! Store ice melt where pets can’t reach, and do your best to avoid it during outdoor adventures.


Antifreeze is a common wintertime pet poison, since it keeps our car engines running in the cold weather. Many antifreeze brands contain ethylene glycol, an alcoholic substance that can poison animals in small amounts. To make matters worse, antifreeze has a sweet smell and taste that tends to attract pets! Keep pets inside when using antifreeze, and clean up any spills right away. Store antifreeze carefully where pets don’t have access.

Toxic Plant Life

Even though many of the plants and flowers outdoors don’t pose a threat during the colder months, there are several indoor varieties that can harm a pet. The list includes holly, mistletoe, lilies, Amaryllis, several types of aloe plants, and Autumn crocus, among others. Poinsettias, while not likely to cause serious harm, can cause stomach or mouth irritation, excessive drooling, and vomiting if enough is ingested.


Veterinarians tend to see an increase in pesticide and rodenticide poisoning when the temperatures drop. That’s because we typically use these products when small insects or rodents invade our homes seeking warmth. Always place pesticides with extreme caution, and choose pet-safe varieties whenever possible. You might also consider non-toxic alternative options, like traps.


One of the downsides of winter is dealing with cold and flu season. Many human medicines, including aspirin, cough syrup, and many prescription drugs, can poison a pet! Be on the lookout for NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which can cause kidney and stomach problems if ingested by your pet. Keep the medicine cabinet closed tightly!

Does your pet need a veterinary exam? We’re always here to help. Schedule your companion’s next office visit with your Tipp City, OH vet clinic.