Dogs are playful animals, and they love to run around the lawn when the weather is perfect. But what if the lawn is newly fertilized? Will it still be safe for dogs to play around the lawn?
Is Lawn Fertilizer Safe for Dogs?
The answer is no. Dogs will likely get sick if you leave them to play in the newly fertilized lawn. This is because of the ingredients present in the fertilizer.
The components of fertilizer are mostly natural elements and generally non-toxic like phosphorous, potash, and nitrogen, while some contain insecticides. If you leave them to play in these chemicals, chances are they will take a bite of the grass.
Dogs love to roll and dig, so they tend to ingest the chemicals of the fertilizer. Other animals like bunnies will indeed consume more newly fertilized grass leading to illness. However, eating grass with fertilizer will rarely cause severe poisoning than drinking the fertilizer directly from its container.
Since the significant elements of fertilizers are natural components, the dogs will not likely show any seizures if they bite one newly fertilized grass. They will only display severe issues if they make a snack of the actual fertilizer. Hence, it is crucial to keep fertilizers away from their reach.
How Long After the Lawn Is Fertilized, Is It Safe for Dogs?
The answer to this is 72 hours after fertilization or three full days. Since fertilizers’ ingredients are usually natural and non-toxic, the safest estimate to know that fertilized lawn is already safe for dogs is roughly 72 hours after application. Thus, keep the dogs away from the newly fertilized lawn before 72 hours of application.
There are two types of fertilizers: water-based or granules. They generally have similar components, although they differ in form.
What to look for in fertilizer is the ingredients and not the type of fertilizers. Some fertilizers contain iron or insecticides like carbamates and organophosphates. These types of fertilizers will indeed cause life-threatening symptoms to your dogs and other pets.
If dogs ingest a fertilizer with iron or insecticides, they will likely exhibit the following:
- Severe lethargy
- Diarrhea or excessive urination
- Abnormal heart size
- Tremors or seizures
No matter how many labels you read, if there is the remotest possibility that your dog could be negatively affected, you should automatically decide that lawn fertilization days are days that you should remove the dogs from paying outside and keep them in a safe containment for three full days.
Therefore, when fertilizing the lawn, you can look at the ingredients to know whether or not, iron and insecticides are present in them; and, if they are present, keep your dogs away from the lawn for 72 hours and store the fertilizer away from their reach. Yet, labels or not, this this be an automatic reflex for you, as in lawn fertilization = keep your dog away from that area for three days.
If and when your dogs or pets are neglected and left unattended, animals could manage to escape and play all over the newly fertilized lawn with iron and insecticide. You should then – if they’re showing signs of illness – immediately rush them to your vet for urgent attention.
Moreover, you should also know that fertilizers with iron and insecticides are not the only things for which you should be watching. Organic fertilizers should also be kept away from your dogs and other animals as it can have higher tendencies of tempting them.
Organic fertilizers are made of leftover products of farming or meatpacking companies, including bone, blood, feather, and fish meal. Dogs will be drawn to it and too tempted to eat it.
Once they ingest natural fertilizers, they may exhibit gastrointestinal irritation, severe pancreatitis, and other internal problems. This is because natural fertilizers are not made for ingestion hence causing severe issues.
How long should dogs stay off newly fertilized grass?
As mentioned earlier, 72 hours after fertilizer application is the safest period for dogs and other animals to play and have fun around the lawn. Before 72 hours’ estimate is deemed unsafe for the dogs. However, other fertilizers are already safe for dogs and other pets after 24 hours of application.
The dogs and other animals should stay away from newly fertilized grass before 72 hours or 24 hours, depending on the stated information in the fertilizer, whether the fertilizer is organic or non-organic. This ensures that dogs and other animals will not ingest the fertilizers after the fertilizer is freshly applied.
If you believe that your dog and other animals escaped and play all over the lawn before 72 hours or 24 hours, quickly remove them from the lawn. Observe if they will exhibit any unnatural acts or severe seizures. If they do, immediately send them to the nearest vet station.
3 Tips to protect your dogs from Fertilizer
1.Keep them away from the lawn
The safest way is to keep them away from the newly fertilized lawn. Always remember the 72 hours or 24 hours’ rule. But you can choose for a more extended period of isolation if you are uncomfortable with 24 hours.
There are many methods to keep your dogs away from the newly fertilized lawn. Several examples include keeping them indoors, taking them for a ride, or taking them to the park.
If you choose to keep them indoors, always look for the possible passage where they can escape. Lock every entrance and block every window to prevent your pets from seeing the lawn that might trigger their excitement to go out and have fun. Play with your animals or train them with new skills to keep them occupied.
Three days is not that long to keep them away from the newly fertilized lawn. That 72 hours of isolation could save them from serious infections leading to death. Thus, the 72 hours’ rule is more favorable than to exchange it for the lives of the dogs.
2.Know the products
Luckily, some fertilizers will not make your dog’s sick – but it still doesn’t make them safe. So, it would help if you remembered that these fertilizers are not made for ingestion. Rather store them in areas where your dogs and other pets cannot make a snack out of them.
Here are some examples of reasonably safe fertilizers:
- Fish Emulsion
- Grass Clippings
- Bone Meal/Blood Meal
Always remember that bone meal/blood meal fertilizer may be appealing to your dogs. Although it seems relatively safe for dogs, it is not safe for them when ingested directly from the bag. Better keep the bone meal/blood meal fertilizer avoided and choose for other options of safe fertilizers.
Thankfully, the EPA has made a great help in keeping the availability of dangerous fertilizer lesser. But pet owners should still be wary of the fertilizers they buy as several stores might even sell such harmful fertilizers.
With reference to harmful fertilizers, it is essential to know about Mulch—a type of material applied to the soil’s surface. Mulch can have severe problems for your pet dogs.
Mulch is usually a shredded tree bark, but it also comes in different types like compost or decaying matter, or cocoa mulch. Cocoa mulch is fragrant because it smells like chocolate, and dogs may be tempted to ingest it. Cocoa mulch might contain theobromine , which can result in chocolate poisoning of dogs.
Here are some signs of cocoa mulch poisoning:
- Drooling/Hyper salivating
- Not eating
- A racing heart rate
- Constant panting
- Dark red gums
Take note that the severity of illness from chocolate poisoning will vary depending on the amount of cocoa mulch is ingested. Generally, one to two bites will not cause any severe problems. Nevertheless, prevention is better than cure, and make sure to keep your dogs and other pets away from Mulch for about a week as the smell of chocolate will gradually dissolve due to sun and rain.
Because there are certain trees and plants that require to be mulched, it’s best to guard them with a waist-high metal cage that is loosely made but encircles the plant and is secured into the ground – happily leaving your dogs to run around without being harmed.
3. Plan for emergencies
Always be ready for any unfortunate circumstance that may happen. There are chances that dogs might ingest the fertilizers and Mulch without us knowing it.
Even if we keep them away from the lawn and store the fertilizers away from their reach, there might be some tendencies that they may still play over the newly fertilized lawn or find where the fertilizer is kept.
When this happens, the best way to react to the situation is by not panicking and rely on your emergency plan. The emergency plan includes the things to do when dogs are poisoned by fertilizers and Mulch.
You already know the type of lawn fertilizers and their corresponding effects on your dogs. To guarantee that your dogs will not experience any severe problems caused by fertilizer and mulch poisoning, always keep them away from it. Always remember the 72 hours or 24 hours’ rule for fertilizer and a week rule for Mulch.
Your dogs are your responsibility; hence it is necessary to follow safety precautions regarding lawn fertilizers and Mulch. Most importantly, deliver the dogs immediately to the nearest vet station if something terrible happens.
So, Is lawn fertilizer safe for Dogs? Absolutely not; and why would we take chances with the health of our beloved furry friends or our much-loved garden when neither is an option?
Edited by Patricia Godwin