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Don’t pet dogs after using hand sanitiser? As long as they don’t drink it they are safe

 “Please do not pet your dog or any pet after using hand sanitizer. It contains ethanol glycol that’s also found in anti-freeze that’s toxic to them!” That’s the alarming claim in a post on Facebook, which adds that this will happen if they lick the area you’ve touched them.

Amid the coronavirus panic, people across the world have been stocking up on hand sanitiser. But is it toxic to pets? We checked.

Ethylene glycol is poisonous to dogs, but it’s not in hand sanitiser

The post likely means ethylene glycol, which is the active ingredient in most antifreeze products used for cars. This is according to the US veterinary hospital chain VCA Animal Hospital and the Encyclopedia Britannica

A clear sweet liquid, it is definitely poisonous to dogs if they ingest it.

But hand sanitiser does not contain ethylene glycol. Most sanitisers contain a form of alcohol, such as ethyl alcohol, as a form of antiseptic, says the US Food and Drug Administration.

Britannica explains that ethyl alcohol, known mainly as ethanol, is well known as the ingredient of many alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, and distilled spirits.

Ingesting large quantities of hand sanitiser could have an effect on pets, but “a lick of hand sanitiser won't hurt a child or anyone else”. That’s what the  US national poison control says about it.

Use hand sanitiser after petting animals, not before

The American Veterinary Medical Association says that if you are not infected with Covid-19, you can act as you normally would with your pets, including walking, feeding, and playing with them. 

But it’s a good idea to wash your hands after touching your dog, especially before eating. – Taryn Willows


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