Tag Archives: poisons and pets

dogs and cats and fertilizer

Summer is here and our pets are enjoying romps in the yard and long naps on the grass. It is a time for feeding and weeding the yard to obtain that lush green look. However,  we need to be careful about  what we put on our grass.  Some lawn fertilizers are generally low in toxic additives. But some contain toxic ingredients like high concentrations of iron, herbicides, pesticides and fungicides.  Cocoa mulch contains the compound theobromine which is enticing to pets but quite toxic. Certain types of organic products can be just as poisonous. These include blood meal, bone meal or fish meal.  They are designed to increase nitrogen content in our lawns and gardens but can be very palatable to dogs and cats. Meal based fertilizers can create bowel obstructions or severe inflammation of the pancreas. Even small ingestions of these many products can result in stomach upset or even bladder cancer.

After a walk or romp in the grass,  watch your pet for signs of poisoning. These include drooling, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing or muddy colored gums. Remember that dogs and cats like to lick their fur and that can lead to ingestion of unwanted substances. Call your vet if you suspect poisoning.

Take care that your pet does his business in an area away from a recently fertilized lawn or garden. If you use fertilizers, be sure to put a sign on your lawn to let other neighbors know to keep their pets away from the area. After treating an area with fertilizers or pesticides, wait until the substance dries or, if recommended, water the lawn after fertilizing to allow the chemicals to wash into the grass.

The best rule of thumb is to look for pet-friendly fertilizers that keep your lawn and pets healthy!