Many worried dog owners wonder whether lawn fertilizer can be toxic or even dangerous for dogs. We clarify which lawn fertilizer is suitable for dogs and cats and which one is better to stay away from.
The variety of lawn fertilizers is enormous: there are mineral or organic lawn fertilizers as well as organic-mineral fertilizers. The latter are divided into animal-based fertilizers and animal-free fertilizers, some of which are organic. But which of these fertilizers are now dangerous for pets and which are harmless?
Which lawn fertilizers are unsuitable for dogs, cats?
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Mineral fertilizers and especially lawn fertilizers with added weed killers are best avoided by pet owners. Your four-legged friend could ingest too much of it by deliberately nibbling the salty grains from the stalks after fertilizing.
Or he may have access to the packaging of the fertilizer. Young dogs in particular are often curious and will try almost anything. Unfortunately, they can quickly get into danger because of their smaller mass.
Is mineral lawn fertilizer toxic to dogs?
Mineral fertilizers contain mainly the elements nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus in concentrated salt form. These dissolve in the animal’s digestive tract and cause symptoms of poisoning: the mucous membranes in the stomach, intestines, and mouth become irritated and the hemoglobin in the blood can be impaired in its function, causing life-threatening oxygen deprivation.
Symptoms of poisoning include Heavy salivation, blood in the stool, vomiting, shortness of breath, weakness, and convulsions.
Is lawn fertilizer with weed killer toxic for dogs and co?
The same applies to lawn fertilizer with weed killer: It is definitely toxic for pets and also for humans. The symptoms already mentioned above as well as the loss of appetite, restlessness or agitation, muscle tremors, difficult coordination, or incontinence can also indicate poisoning with pesticides contained in some lawn fertilizers. At worst, such poisoning can lead to cardiac arrest.
Which good lawn fertilizer is safe for dogs?
One thing to keep in mind about animal-based organic fertilizers is that all carnivorous pets especially love to eat them! Blood meal, bone meal, and ground slaughter waste smell all too tempting to the four-legged friends and are often eaten.
In addition, animal lovers in particular are not quite comfortable with the idea of spreading ground-up animal body parts around their yard. For this reason, an animal-free organic lawn fertilizer is the better choice when dogs and cats roam freely on the lawn.
Extra tips for fertilizing the lawn with the dog:
- Mow the lawn deeply before fertilizing – this way the fertilizer grain falls deep between the blades and cannot be reached so easily by pets.
- Always keep fertilizer out of reach of animals and children.
- Use animal-free lawn fertilizer without castor bean meal: This can contain the highly toxic ricin, which is deadly to humans and animals even in small doses if production errors occur.
- Animal-free, primarily organic fertilizers are not only completely safe for dogs, cats, rabbits, chickens, guinea pigs, and all other animal pets. They also revitalize soil flora and fauna, resulting in better plant growth.