“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.
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.
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
For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false
A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”. What should you do? First, don't delete!
Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.
Africa Check teams up with Facebook
Africa Check is a partner in Facebook’s third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.
The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.
You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.
Fighting coronavirus misinformation
Africa Check is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers fighting misinformation about the Covid-19 pandemic.
Learn more about the alliance here.
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