Is RV Antifreeze Toxic to Animals?

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It might not have been until your dog licked RV antifreeze before you thought to ask: Is RV antifreeze toxic to animals? Or, is pet-safe antifreeze available?

Fortunately, the manufacturers of these products are way ahead of you.

Is RV antifreeze toxic to animals? RV antifreeze made from Propylene Glycol is designed to be non-toxic. Despite this, RV antifreeze can be unsafe or deadly to dogs, cats, birds, poultry, and other animals in sufficient quantities.

Cats are more vulnerable to it than dogs, but both are at risk from even a spoonful of the sweet liquid on the ground or sticking to their paws and eagerly licked up.

RV antifreeze made from Ethylene Glycol should be avoided at all costs.

Read Also: Is RV Antifreeze Toxic to Plants or Grass?

Read on to learn more about how toxic RV antifreeze can be to pets and ways to avoid your dog, cat, birds, livestock, or other animals getting near it.

Is RV Antifreeze Toxic?

For starters, some people who are unfamiliar with it do ask, “Is RV antifreeze safe to drink?”

No!

There are various chemicals in RV antifreeze making it unsafe to consume.

For our pets, we can worry about using it during the winter to protect our RV’s plumbing systems and their somehow gaining access to it. That’s a fair concern to have.

The safer RV antifreeze for use has Propylene Glycol as its primary ingredient. Not Ethylene Glycol, which we’d avoid, generally, but for pet owners, especially.

Is RV Antifreeze Toxic to Animals?

Automotive antifreeze is far more toxic than RV antifreeze. Auto antifreeze isn’t designed to be used in active water plumbing systems. But is RV antifreeze toxic?

When considering whether RV antifreeze is safe for pets, owners should know that using any type of antifreeze requires them to secure their pets away from the area.

After RV antifreeze has been used, clean up thoroughly, and look for any accidental leakage or spillages too.

Some RV antifreeze can be harmful to animals. But is pink antifreeze safe for pets? Is pink RV antifreeze toxic?


The liquid’s usually pink appearance and sweet taste are alluring to balls of furs like your active cat or curious dog! They don’t know how dangerous it can be… You must be the responsible pet parent here.

Is RV Antifreeze Toxic to Animals

What is RV Antifreeze Made Of?

What is in RV Antifreeze?

RV antifreeze Propylene Glycol based is best for animals. It is by far the least non toxic RV antifreeze available currently.

Compare this to Ethylene Glycol-based, which is toxic to most pets, including dogs and cats. It may be less expensive at times, but it’s not worth the risk. There are better choices available.

This Splash RV Antifreeze is a popular one for pet owners needing a dependable, familiar, branded product to protect their RV plumbing system and their pets too:

SPLASH 619526 RV/Marine Antifreeze – 1 gallon (Pink)

Check at Amazon

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Is non toxic antifreeze safe for pets? We cover this topic in more detail below, with separate information for dog and cat owners.

Read Also: Does RV Antifreeze Freeze?

Is RV Antifreeze Toxic to Dogs?

It can be! Keeping them out of reach of all types of RV antifreeze is the safest option.

Do expect that they will jump up to reach attractive-looking bottles. Leaving the cap off the bottle, they will try to consume what’s inside and not realize the danger…

So, regardless of how safe the RV antifreeze is, securely storing the product and keeping them elsewhere when it’s being used is best.

Is Propylene Glycol Safe for Animals?

As a pet safe antifreeze, ones containing Propylene Glycol are far safer than products using Ethylene Glycol.

We cover the important differences between these two potential ingredients of RV antifreeze below:

Is Propylene Glycol Toxic to Dogs?

When it comes to RV antifreeze and dogs, they usually have a substantially larger body mass compared to cats. And different internal systems too.

Nevertheless, dog licked antifreeze is worrisome.

Thankfully, RV antifreeze Propylene Glycol based is considerably less toxic for pooches. The same deformation effect in cats isn’t true with dogs based on FDA findings.

When looking for an animal safe antifreeze product, stick to a Propylene Glycol one.

You may be surprised to learn that dog food often contains 5-10 percent of Propylene Glycol. It tends to not be toxic for them because it’s in a diluted form mixed with other food matter.

Should a dog lick up some concentrated Propylene Glycol – even 1 to 1.5 teaspoons full – that can be enough to begin to cause issues.

The non-diluted liquid is far more concentrated than Propylene Glycol found in dog food or medicine prescribed for dogs.

As to RV antifreeze and dogs, the K9 side effects may include drunken behavior, panting, disorientation, tremors, or appearing poorly.

The Splash RV Antifreeze is one of our recommended products to safeguard your plumbing during winter while keeping your pets safer too:

SPLASH 619526 RV/Marine Antifreeze – 1 gallon (Pink)

Check at Amazon

If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Is Propylene Glycol Toxic to Cats?

Propylene glycol can be responsible for subsequent growth abnormalities in their red blood cells. Previously, wet cat food often contained over 5 percent (and as much as double that) of propylene glycol.

However, now the FDA strictly prohibits the inclusion of Propylene Glycol in cat food for safety reasons.

It’s important to bear in mind that even with a small percentage of the synthetic substance in foods, it was enough to cause health issues in felines.

Thinking about RV antifreeze, a spoonful of full-strength antifreeze even when it’s supposed to be non-toxic is going to be poisonous to our little furry friends.

Because cats are smaller, even a spoonful of liquid on the ground or licked up from an open container is enough to cause severe health issues for them.

RV antifreeze leads cats to display drunken behavior, fever, or discolored skin, usually, these are the bad side effects.

While the toxicity is relatively low with Propylene Glycol, Ethylene Glycol is far more toxic. This is another reason to only use Propylene Glycol RV antifreeze, and never other types.

Is Ethylene Glycol Safe for Animals?

Ethylene Glycol is far more toxic for animals compared to Propylene Glycol. The difference is night and day.

It can be deadly to dogs, cats, and other animals because of how it metabolizes inside their bodies once consumed.

This is different from how propylene glycol responds which is closer to when digesting citric acid which is unpleasant but usually not deadly.

Indeed, Ethylene Glycol poisoning in cats is not uncommon. It’s also possible to accidentally poison birds with antifreeze, so it shouldn’t be left out in the open or on surfaces.

For pet owners, it’s critically important to not use any RV antifreeze that is made using Ethylene Glycol. Even if consumed in exceedingly small amounts, it causes upset to your pet and worse.

What Should You Do If Your Pet Has Consumed RV Antifreeze?

Your dog drank RV antifreeze? Or your cat?

Even if telling friends that “my dog drank antifreeze 4 days ago,” do not assume they will be fine. Antifreeze poisoning in dogs and cats is extremely serious. Do not hesitate. Seek immediate assistance from a qualified veterinary surgeon.

They will have access to medicine and other options to remedy the situation in time.

Their solutions are not available over the counter which is why an emergency appointment should be made.

Bring the bottle of antifreeze with you, so the vet can inspect the ingredients and offer the most appropriate treatment plan for your beloved pet.

How to Dispose of RV Antifreeze

Can RV antifreeze be dumped on the ground? Please don’t.

Animals can come along. They can lick it up after you’ve left or nocturnal ones may visit overnight too.

Polypropylene glycol toxicity is always a concern. This is one of many reasons to not leave RV antifreeze on the ground, or run down the drain and into the sewer system.

We’d recommend RV workshops, auto parts stores, and service stations serving the automotive industry. They may have existing facilities to safely dispose of it.

Also, some have special recycle kits to use and return to them for subsequent disposal. Some charges may apply.

Other Information

To learn more about RV antifreeze, our primer, “What is RV Antifreeze?” will fill in the blanks.

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