Spring is here, and as it warms up it means we get back out to our gardens for some weekend relaxation. The garden can be a wonderful and peaceful place for us humans, and it probably seems very exciting for our animals, too! Of course, there are some things to be mindful of when your pet is roaming around your garden. Some common components of your lovely garden can make your pet quite sick if they’re ingested. We’ve got you covered. If your pet does ingest something during our business hours, please call us at 978-632-7110. If an incident occurs after hours, our emergency partners are here to help. Click here for more information.
1. Pesticides and insecticides — Watch for pesticides or insecticides that contain organophosphates, which are often found in systemic rose care products. Ingestion of even a small amount of a product containing this chemical can be life-threatening for your pet.
2. Cocoa mulch — Made of discarded cocoa bean shells, cocoa mulch has a tempting chocolate-like smell that can attract dogs. Because the discarded shells are the byproducts of chocolate production, they can contain theobromine and caffeine, the two ingredients in chocolate that are harmful to dogs. If your dog consumes a mulch variety with higher levels of the toxins, he could experience diarrhea, vomiting, hyperactivity, an abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and even death.
3. Compost — Composting is good for the environment, but not so good for your pet. As the organic matter in compost decomposes, molds will grow, some of which produce tremorgenic mycotoxins. If your pet gets into moldy compost, he might experience panting, agitation, drooling, vomiting, tremors, and seizures.
4. Meal-based fertilizers — Most fertilizers won’t harm your pets, but those containing bone meal, blood meal, or feather meal can be tempting to dogs and can cause problems when ingested. If too much is consumed, a concentration in the stomach can form, potentially obstructing the gastrointestinal tract and causing pancreatitis.
5. Slug and snail baits — Are slugs and snails a problem in your yard? If you have a pet, avoid the use of slug and snail baits that contain metaldehyde, a chemical that is highly poisonous to dogs and cats. If your pet ingests metaldehyde, you’ll notice restlessness, salivation, seizures, tremors, vomiting, and a high fever that can result in death.
If you do garden, please be sure to find pet-safe items whenever you can, and as a general rule of thumb, it’s important to keep your pets out of the garden unsupervised.