Autumn Yard Clean-Up Can Be Hazardous To Your Dog

Fall is the time when people tend to clean up their yards. Keep in mind that there are many potential hazards out there for your dog. First and foremost, store your lawn and garden products in a place that your dog cannot get into.

Are lawncare products poisonous to pets?

In addition, as you are applying certain products, confine your dog in a safe area. If your dog is exposed to anything, you should contact your veterinarian with the suspected product information as soon as possible. If you take the necessary precautions, paying attention to the potential hazards listed below, you can have that beautiful yard you’ve dreamed of while keeping your dog safe. 

  • Insecticides: They reduce the number of pesky and destructive insects. Some can be highly toxic to dogs.
  • Herbicides: They diminish weed growth. In general, most are only considerably poisonous if consumed from the bag. The toxicity level decreases after actual application.
  • Fertilizers: They help make your lawn thick and lush. Toxic if large amounts are ingested. Once the lawn or garden is fertilized, toxicity levels dwindle.
  • Vermin baits/rodenticides: These products can be extremely toxic since many contain strychnine, an extremely poisonous (and colorless) alkaloid.
  • Snail and slug baits: If ingested, they can cause severe and possibly fatal tremors and seizures.
  • Mulch: Most mulches are safe if ingested but one potentially toxic type of mulch is made from the hulls of cocoa beans with the added bonus in that it smells like chocolate. Eating large amounts of cocoa bean mulch can result in chocolate toxicity. When using this particular mulch keep your dog away until the chocolate scent has dissipated. You can thoroughly water the mulch or wait for a heavy rain which often reduces the toxicity and smell.

Other Hazards That Can Cause Problems Too

Did you know that even fruit that has fallen to the ground, fruit pits (cyanide poisoning; choking hazard), berries, seeds, leaves and stems (cyanide poisoning; choking hazard), birdseed, water in the birdbath, fish ponds and animal droppings (bird feces in particular) can be harmful to your dog?

Tremorgenic mycotoxins are a real risk to your dog if he likes to poke around the compost. These toxins affect the neurological system of a dog, and are found in certain types of moldy foods such as grains, nuts, decomposed pasta and rotten dairy products. Symptoms of poisoning may start with vomiting; leading to mild poisoning that can result in muscle tremors. Severe poisoning can cause seizures and even death. Foraging in the compost pile can also cause gastrointestinal problems. A good rule of thumb–keep your compost and yard waste in closed containers.

Plants that have lost their leaves and are bare can pose a hazard to your dog’s eyes as they run or play in the yard. Securing the plants with a small barrier until they sprout their leaves can help prevent your dog from cutting or poking himself.

Learn More

Visit our pet safety tips library for more articles on chemicals, foods and other potentially hazardous materials for your pet. You can also contact your local veterinarian to learn more about seasonal dangers specific to your area.