Winter is a time of year that people need to take care to prevent exposure of pets to harmful chemicals.
Antifreeze typically contains ethylene glycol as the primary ingredient. It has a sweet smell so animals are attracted to it. A half of a teaspoon will kill a cat if ingested and 8 ounces can kill a 75-pound dog. This chemical does irreversible damage to the kidneys. There is a less toxic alternative that has propylene glycol as the main ingredient. Pay attention to leaks on the garage floor or on the driveway to which an animal has access. Clean up any spills you notice.
De-Icing salts often contain sodium chloride which is irritating to the paws of animals and can make them ill after licking their paws. The illnesses they are likely to suffer from include hypersalivating, nausea and vomiting. Consider using salts with calcium or potassium chloride, or make sure you wipe off all pet paws when they come inside.
Pets spend much more time indoors when the weather is bad, so paying attention to household cleaners they might come into contact with is important. Cleaners with bleach, ammonia, chlorine, glycol ethers, or formaldehyde in the ingredient list can put pets at risk for liver and kidney damage, cancer and anemia.
Awareness of potential problems can mean avoiding health problems for your pet.