Are tires toxic to animals?

are tires toxic to animals?

Are tires toxic to animals? Tires are not toxic directly, however the materials they are made of can be toxic if ingested or left in contact for long periods of time

Plenty of people keep tires around their property these days. Whether that’s just cause they’ve got no where to store their tires or because they want to use tires for decoration or recreation purposes, it’s clear that seeing tires laying around is pretty common.

But that has led people to question are tires toxic to animals. So, we decided to give you the right info, you you can keep your pets and surrounding wildlife safe.

Are tires toxic to animals?

The answer is a bit complicated. Tires are not toxic, per se. However, the materials that tires are made of can be toxic to animals if ingested. Similarly, tires left in the water can contaminate it and cause problems to aquatic creatures.

What are tires made of?

Tires are made of a variety of different materials, but the main three ingredients are rubber, carbon black, and cord.

Rubber comes from latex, which is a milky substance that comes from certain trees. The most common type of rubber used in tires is synthetic rubber, which is made from petroleum products.

Carbon black is a form of soot that’s made when petroleum products are burned. It’s what gives tires their black color.

Cord is the reinforcing material that gives tires their strength. It’s usually made from steel or nylon and is woven into the rubber.

Tires have also been found to contain chemicals like benzene, mercury, and arsenic.

What happens if animals ingest tire materials?

If animals ingest any of these tire materials, they can experience different problems.

Rubber can cause blockages in the digestive system. If a large enough piece is swallowed, it can even cause death by puncturing the intestines.

Carbon black is considered to be a carcinogen, which means it could potentially cause cancer. Ingesting small amounts is not likely to cause any problems, but ingesting large amounts could be dangerous.

Cord can also cause blockages in the digestive system. If swallowed, it can get tangled up in the intestines and cause severe pain. In some cases, surgery may be required to remove the cord.

What happens if tires contaminate water?

If tires contaminate water, it can cause problems for aquatic creatures. The chemicals in the tire can leach into the water and potentially cause health problems for the creatures that live there. In some cases, it can even kill them.

In fact, tire preservative chemicals were found to have killed several returning salmon in Pudget Sounds, Washington. Water flowing into storm drains made their way into the reserve and killed several salmon that were returning to lay eggs. So, that’s a pretty clear sign of the potency of tire chemicals on aquatic life.

So, while tires themselves are not toxic to animals, the materials they are made of can be harmful to them if they ingest or come into contact with them. If you have tires on your property, make sure to keep them out of reach of animals.

If you think your animal has come into contact with a tire or ingested tire material, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Are tires safe for cats?

You’ve probably seen pictures of tires being used as makeshift cat houses and while it’s definitely cute, you may want to think twice before allowing cats near your tires. This is because , as we mentioned above, tires are made of a variety of different materials, some of which can be harmful to cats if ingested.

These chemicals seep out slowly so you likely wont notice any issues at first. But over time these chemicals will escape and can cause real problems. That’s why it’s a good idea to store your tires somewhere enclosed so that animals can’t get to them.

Can my dog chew on tires?

No, we certainly wouldn’t recommend letting you dog chew on tires as chemicals like benzene, mercury, and arsenic are harmful to dogs.

My dog chewed on a tire, should I be worried?

I wouldn’t start to panic just yet. If your dog chomped down on a tire, it likely isn’t the end of the world. As long as it hasn’t ingested excess amounts of tire rubber, you dog will likely be fine. However, if you want to be extra safe, you should get in touch with your vet and ask them directly.

Alternatives for dogs that like to chew on tires

I get it, some dogs just feel the need to test their teeth on rubber. Fortunately, they are some great rubber toy options for dogs that are far safer and vet approved. You can even get some that are shaped like tires too!

Here’s one of our favourites.

Are tire fumes dangerous to animals?

Yes, absolutely. Inhaling tire fumes can be harmful to both humans and animals. The chemicals in the tires, as they break down, can release harmful vapors into the air. These vapors can cause a variety of health problems including respiratory issues, headaches, and even cancer.

Are tire planters safe?

Tire planters are likely safe but it may not be worth the risk. While the definitely look cool, the chemicals in these tires should absolutely not be ingested by humans. And while it likely won’t be passed into the person through a vegetable, it probably isn’t worth the risk.

That’s especially true when there are tons of perfect safe planter you can buy. So, don’t risk it.

How to store tires to keep them away from animals?

The best way to store your tires is in a cool, dry place that is out of reach of animals. An attic or garage would work perfectly. If you don’t have either of those options, you can also consider buying a storage shed specifically for storing tires.

Just make sure it is well ventilated so that the fumes don’t build up and become a health hazard.


Tires can be harmful to animals if they ingest or come into contact with them. If you have tires on your property, make sure to keep them out of reach of animals. There are a variety of different materials in tires, some of which can be harmful to cats and dogs if ingested.

So, if you’ve got tires strew around your property, it may be a good idea to store those tires properly.

We hope you enjoyed this article and found it informative. If you have any questions then please leave a comment below or get in touch via email or through social media and we will read and respond to every comment, email or question. Thanks for reading!

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