Ah, Spring is a time when you think about planting a garden with beautiful flowers. However, before you put on your gardening gloves and hat, know that lurking behind those innocent blooms could be pet poisons that could hurt or even kill your pet.
First, it might be wise to think about planting when your dog is not around ... after all, if he sees you digging, he'll wonder why it is not acceptable for him to dig!
Second, two of the top 10 most common causes of accidental pet poisonings can be found in your garden and lawn- insecticides and snail and slug bait. Snail bait is extremely harmful - ingestion may cause blindness, excessive salivation, seizures, and sudden death. Therefore, we're providing you with tips about chemicals to avoid so you can spare yourself and your dog a lot of heartache.
There is an extensive list of plants that are poisonous to your dog. For a complete list visit the Pet Poison Helpline. However, here are some general products you should avoid:
- Fertilizers - Most fertilizers contain varying amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (potash) as well as copper, zinc and other chemicals that can be toxic. If your dog only eats a small amount, he could get a mild stomach ache. However, if he chows down, this can result in severe poisoning from the iron, nitrogen and other chemicals. Be wary of bone meal, blood meat, potash and plant foods as well.
- Insecticides - Insecticides help get rid of the bugs, fleas and ticks, but often contain organophosphates and carbamates, which if ingested by your dog can cause respiratory distress or seizures.
- Herbicides - Roundup and similar herbicides aren't as dangerous as snail bait, but they can still cause vomiting if eaten. If you are using herbicides, put your dog, dog bowls, toys and anything else that touches their mouths safely inside until the herbicide is dry. Also, consider using corn gluten meal in place of chemicals since it is a natural herbicide.
- Secondary poisoning - Has your dog ever proudly brought you a mouse he has caught? Dogs and cats both eat rodents, mollusks, and insects, all of which could be exposed to pesticides. If a dog eats a mouse that has just been poisoned by a rodent, the dog will absorb the poison also. This is called secondary poisoning,
If you are afraid your dog has been accidentally poisoned, call the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661 which is available 24/7!
Springtime should be fun for everyone. By taking precautions, you and your dog can have a blooming great season!