Spring Lawncare? Think Like a Dog.

Your dogs lounge on your lawn, nibble on it, roll and wiggle in it, then lick their paws. Animal exposure to toxic chemicals may be symptomless until a dog develops cancer later in life. So before you buy weed killers, lawn treatment products, even mulch, know that ‘organic’ on a product label won’t ensure your dog’s safety. Here’s how to keep your dog safe: 

Blood Meal.  It’s organic but Blood Meal and Feather Meal can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and severe inflammation if ingested. Added irons, found in some formulas, are also hazardous for dogs. 

Bone Meal. When mixed with water, this ground up bone-powder, acts like wet plaster and forms a heavy ball in your dog’s stomach. Surgery may be required to remove the blockage. Bone meal smells delicious to your dog, so store it well out of snout’s reach. 

Cocoa Mulch. You probably know chocolate is toxic to dogs—but did you know coca bean hulls contains the same dog-toxic ingredients? Dogs are tempted to dine on cocoa mulch, so avoid it. Fortunately, the tempting cocoa scent washes away with the first rain.   

Compost. That heap of decaying food scraps may produce rich soil, but compost generates a toxin that can cause vomiting, fever, and seizures in dogs. Keep it secure from dogs. 

Insecticides. Although they can irritate eyes or skin, insecticides aren’t typically toxic to pets. Do avoid organophosphates, which can be fatal in large quantities.   

Rose and Plant Fertilizers. Avoid disulfoton or other organophosphates (sometimes listed as OP on labels) on the label; they’re toxic to dogs.

Weed Control Products containing the herbicide 2,4-D are hazardous to humans and animals. Steer clear. If you’re spraying weeds with a pet-safe herbicide, keep your dog away from the area until the product dries.