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Be careful out there! If you are interupted in a project, your curious dog may get into trouble.

Certain things need to be kept out of the yard, or out of their reach, at all times.

1. Fertilizers

  • Even organic fertilizers and compost are dangerous, as they will contain dangerous levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, or other.
  • Insufficiently aged compost may have a variety of toxins from the biological processes, including fungal products causing neurologic signs like tremors and seizures.
  • Significant gastrointestinal or nervous system symptoms can develop if a dog ingests these things. The organic ones tend to be a little more appealing, like compost, and a dog may directly eat it.
  • Any fertilizer, though, can be accidentally ingested if they get dry or wet fertilizers on their feet or fur, then ingest it by grooming.

2. Grills

Needless to say, the savory aromas of grilling can attract dogs who may get burned, eat inappropriate foods or encounter hazards like skewers, knives, and other tools that have been made very attractive by the juices of your prepared foods.

  • Fat drippings are particularly dangerous, as this can trigger painful pancreatitis, especially in prone dogs and is likely to cause gastrointestinal upset in any dog.
  • Dangerous objects, like toothpicks, can be swallowed in the blink of an eye.
  • Cleaning tools and scrubbing pads can also become irresistible to a dog.
  • As always, any petrochemicals you may use to start your fire should be safely stored away from access by your dog

3. Gopher poison and Rodent baits

Many rat poisons are strangely attractive to dogs, who will find and eat blocks of them. There are no antidotes to the commonest ones available, which is different than a few years ago.

  • Always keep packages on hand to know what kind was used.
  • Place them in ways dogs will not find or be able to access/eat them.
  • Recognize that poisoned rodents may leave their burrows and be found/ingested by your dog, potentially causing a relay toxicity.
  • Gopher baits work differently but are no less toxic.

Be very careful if you find yourself needing to use these deadly poisons. Consider a professional pest removal company or non-lethal methods of control

4. Cocoa Mulch

If you have a dog, find a safer mulch. Cocoa mulch is very attractive. If eaten by the curious dog, significant gastrointestinal problems (obstruction, vomiting, diarrhea) and systemic effects from the caffeine-like compounds (theobromine) it contains are likely to occur. The latter can cause dangerous heart problems and/or neurologic signs.

If your dog finds and eats some, arrange for early intervention…call us right away.

5. Lawn Chemicals

Applied professionally, there is little proven harm. Always follow instructions, which generally involve a period of time to allow chemicals to dry. A dog that runs through a fresh application may ingest chemicals by grooming themselves and swallowing small amounts of liquid or dried granular chemicals.

  • Weed killers can cause damage if a small amount is contacted topically or ingested by licking a spill or the application apparatus.
  • Moss killers and fertilizers contain iron products which are strong irritants to the skin and gastrointestinal tract and iron poisoning can occur.

6. Insecticides and other pesticides

Most are problematic if ingested, especially snail baits (metaldehyde) and sprays/baits for insects.

  • Try aromatic methods of dispelling flying and crawling insects.
  • Be careful with access to citronella concentrates or candles, as GI upset is very possible.
  • Citronella smoke can be irritating to eyes, airways, and lungs, especially if your dog already has health concerns in those areas

7. Bird Food

Beware the crafty dog who finds your stash of suet for the birds. Those that ingest that are asking for a dangerous and painful bout of intestinal upset and pancreas inflammation. Old moldy seed can lead to intoxication, which can cause tremors and seizures.

8. Backyard Ponds

Avoid stagnant water, where toxic algae blooms may occur. Ingesting a small amount of pond scum can cause serious problems. If your dog were to get into the pond, can they safely get out?

9. Pool Chemicals

Once diluted into a pool, most are not a problem. Access to the concentrates or spills can be problematic. Never let the pool be the only source of water; your dog should have access to fresh drinking waters outdoors and inside.

10. Tiki Lamp Oil

Like other oils, mouth burns and gastrointestinal upset may occur if any is spilled and licked up. However, these products are also dangerous because they can be aspirated into the airways (during gagging, vomiting, coughing) where serious damage can occur.

Like all other lawn/garden chemicals, they should be used and stored very carefully if there is a puppy or curious older dog around

11. Plants

Bulbs of tulips, crocus, and daffodils are dangerous, as are berries on nightshade weeds and certain ornamental plants. In some climates, azaleas, oleander, amaryllis, and sago palm are common in yards and gardens, or are displayed indoors. These are toxic in varying degrees to dogs.

Many plants are toxic or at least seriously irritating, causing drooling, mouth lesions, or vomiting/diarrhea

  • Acornitum
  • Amaryllis
  • Asparagus Fern
  • Azaleas
  • Bluebells
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodil bulbs
  • Day Lillies
  • Delphinium
  • Dog’s Mercury
  • Foxglove
  • Hemlock
  • Hyacinth
  • Hydrangea
  • Ivy
  • Laburnum
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Lupine
  • Morning Glory
  • Rhododendron
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Sweet Pea
  • Tulip bulbs
  • Umbrella plant
  • Wisteria an
  • Yew

Chestnuts, Walnuts, and acorns (especially older rotten ones) are problematic as both irritants and possible obstructions.

Always research before establishing plants in your garden. If it is an unknown weed, remove it.

12. Mushrooms

Many yard mushrooms are not harmful, but very dangerous ones can arise quickly and do not look different to most of us. Some are attractive because they are novel to your dog, others attractive because of smells that they emit. Best course of action is to remove them before your dog finds them.

Our City Dog Vet staff can help avoid stressful, costly ER appointments with our urgent care hours

Call us with questions or concerns for an easy appointment to get the best options for your dog’s sudden problems.

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