Here in Columbus, we look forward to Old Man Winter packing up his bags and the promises of warmer weather that Spring brings. As you are thinking about your Spring cleaning, don’t forget about your back yard. With the snow melted, it’s time to pick up all the poop in the yard. No matter what you try and tell yourself, it is not a good fertilizer!
It’s also National Pet Poison Prevention Month and your yard and garage can contain many hidden dangers for your dog. Here’s a few backyard items that may be toxic to your dog:
- Pesticides and Fertilizers. We love pesticides to get rid of bugs and fertilizers that get rid of weeds. However, many fertilizers that contain bone meal, feather meal, iron and blood meal can cause vomiting, diarrhea and pancreatitis in dogs. When storing fertilizer in your yard, keep it out of reach of your dogs. If you are having a professional come spray your yard, keep your dog inside for at least 24 hours until the fertilizer dries. As far as pesticides, some may contain an organophosphate which can be life threatening when consumed in large quantities.
- Did you know that sago palm trees or sago seeds can be fatal to a dog? Or that Lily of the Valley, oleanders, yews, and begonias can be dangerous. For a more extensive list of poisonous plants, click here.
- Compost piles. Although composting is a good thing, it is important that your compost pile not contain dairy or meat products. These piles of decomposing and decaying organic matter and molding food products have the potential to contain tremorgenic mycotoxins, which are toxic to both pets and wildlife.Symptoms of poisoning are agitation, hyperthermia, hyper-responsiveness, panting, drooling, and vomiting.
- Rat poison or snail bait. No one likes rats in their garage, but the poison used to kill them is highly deadly for dogs because it contains long-acting anticoagulants (LAACs), Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3), Bromethalin, or phosphides. What’s worse is that your dog will be attracted to the smell. You also do not want your dog to eat the rats that have been poisoned, or they could get secondary poisoning. Make sure to keep all rat poisons high on a shelf or where your dog can’t reach them.
- Mulch. Brown cacao bean mulch is made from chocolate which is toxic to dogs.
- Outdoor predators. In some areas of the country, possums and raccoons have been known to attack and can carry rabies or flea-borne diseases.
- Garbage. As the weather warms up, your garbage can be a major attraction for bugs, critters and mice. Tightly seal trash cans and place a cinder block on them to keep sealed.
It is best to do a walk around of your yard to make sure your fence has no holes (or anyplace to dig under) and all your cable and electrical lines are still securely buried. We want our backyard to be a sanctuary for our dogs, but we also need to make sure it is safe and free of pet poisons.