Springtime is here, and many of us will be getting our garden ready for the season! Before letting your furry friend out to play, beware of the possible toxic everyday garden items that could be toxic to your pet.
- Pesticides and insecticides — Watch for pesticides or insecticides that contain organophosphates, which are often found in systemic rose care products. Ingestion of even a tiny amount of a product, including this chemical, can be life-threatening for your pet.
- Cocoa mulch — Made of discarded cocoa bean shells, cocoa mulch, has a tempting chocolate-like smell that can attract dogs. Because the discarded shells are the byproducts of chocolate production, they can contain theobromine and caffeine, the two ingredients in chocolate that are harmful to dogs. If your dog consumes a mulch variety with higher levels of the toxins, they could experience diarrhea, vomiting, hyperactivity, an abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and even death.
- Compost — Composting is good for the environment but not so good for your pet. As the organic matter in compost decomposes, molds will grow, some of which produce tremorgenic mycotoxins. If your pet gets into moldy compost, they might experience panting, agitation, drooling, vomiting, tremors, and seizures.
- Meal-based fertilizers — Most fertilizers won’t harm your pets, but those containing bone meal, blood meal, or feather meal can be tempting to dogs and can cause problems when ingested. If too much is consumed, a concentration in the stomach can form, potentially obstructing the gastrointestinal tract and causing pancreatitis.
- Slug and snail baits — Are slugs and snails a problem in your yard? If you have a pet, avoid the use of slug and snail baits containing metaldehyde, a highly poisonous chemical to dogs and cats. If your pet ingests metaldehyde, you’ll notice restlessness, salivation, seizures, tremors, vomiting, and a high fever that can result in death.
And, of course, some of the most common outdoor toxins for our pets are flowers and plants. Not sure about some of the plants in your yard? Check out this list of toxic and non-toxic plants from the ASPCA.