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Beware of Winter Pet Toxins

December 1, 2020

Now that we’re getting closer to the official start of winter, it’s time to think about our pets’ safety during the cold season. There are several potential toxins that can harm our animal friends this time of year, and it’s important to be familiar with them. That way, you can help your pet stay safe! Learn more here from a Bend, OR veterinarian. 

Ice Melt

Many ice melt products are made with sodium chloride. This isn’t good for pets—it can cause skin irritation if your pet gets it on themselves, and even serious poisoning if your pet ingests enough of the stuff. It’s best to keep your pet away from icy patches outdoors, and be sure to store ice melt carefully inside your home where pets can’t reach. 


We often use antifreeze in our car engines during the winter months to keep them running properly when it gets cold. Did you know that antifreeze is usually made with ethylene glycol, a toxic alcohol that can poison your pet even in very small amounts? To make matters worse, antifreeze has a sweet smell and taste that could attract pets. Use antifreeze carefully, and clean up any spills right away. Store the product in a place where pets can’t get to it. 

Wintertime Plant s

It’s easy to assume that poisonous plants are only a summertime pet hazard. This isn’t true. Plenty of winter plants and flowers can harm your pet! The list includes Amaryllis, lilies, mistletoe and holly, daffodils, Autumn crocus, and Christmas cactus, among others. And poinsettias, while not as dangerous as other common winter plants, can cause mouth and throat irritation, drooling, or vomiting if your pet chows down. 


As cold and flu season arrives, you might have medications lying around your home, especially if a member of your family is sick. Remember that plenty of common human medicines—painkillers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, cough syrup, prescription drugs, and much more—can poison a pet! Don’t leave medicines where pets can find them; store them carefully in a locked drawer or cabinet to be safe. 

Pesticide Products

Cold weather outside drives small pests like insects and rodents into our homes, and we might use pesticide products to fend them off. Keep in mind that these products are poisons, and can harm your house pets as well! 

Call your Bend, OR animal hospital today for more information on winter pet toxins.

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