There are many possible toxins to pets outdoors, but here are a few you can avoid using to prevent health risks to your pet.
Most people know that chocolate can be toxic to dogs. This is because of theobromine in chocolate which, depending on how much is eaten, the type of chocolate ingested, and the size of the dog, can cause symptoms from vomiting and diarrhea to seizures and death.
Theobromine and caffeine are also present in cocoa bean mulch. The quantities of each varies in different brands of mulch, but with the same sweet smell as chocolate, your dog may be enticed to eat the mulch causing them to have the same toxicity symptoms as when a dog ingests chocolate.
To avoid this toxin it is recommended to pick a different kind of mulch for your garden.
Cocoa bean mulch
Many lawn fertlizers are now child and pet friendly. Be aware of what you are putting on your lawn and what plant fertilizer you are using around certain plants. Some of the specific plant fertilizers contain bone or blood meal which is very palatable to dogs, but can cause stomach upsets. Other fertilizers may contain organophosphates that can have more severe symptoms including difficulty breathing, seizures, and possibly death. These symptoms can be seen in either dogs or cats that ingest organophosphate type fertilizers.
Remember to store your undiluted pool chemicals in a safe place away from where your pets (and children) can access them. When diluted in the pool, these chemicals should have minimal, if any, side effects on your pet. It is always recommended to rinse your dog after they have been swimming to remove excess chemicals from their coat that they may later groom off.
Blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) can be a problem in our nearby lakes, as well as in ponds and streams. These bacteria can produce toxins that can be fatal within hours if pets ingest them. If your dog likes to swim, make sure they are swimming in clean water, and avoid beaches that are closed due to high algal blooms!
There are many potential toxins that pets can be exposed to. Make sure you know what is in your backyard where your pets play, and also be aware of your surroundings when you visit family and friends for barbecues or picnics. Have fun and keep your pets safe this summer!
Weekends, Holidays and After-hours we are available 24 hours daily 365 days a year at our location for local service by your veterinary team. Please call our office in case of emergency.
Please note - Weekend, Holiday and After-hour service is offered only to current clientele who have not transferred their files to another facility and whose animals are a patient of our practice that has been examined by one of our doctors in the past 24 months.
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Egan Fife Animal Hospital