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Bone Meal & Blood Meal

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Poisonous to: Cats, Dogs

Level of toxicity: Generally mild to moderate

Common signs to watch for:

  • Nausea
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody vomit
  • Lethargy
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloat
  • Pancreatitis

Many pet owners often attempt to be more “organic” in an attempt to keep their dogs and cats safe. However, certain types of organic products can be just as poisonous. Gardeners using bone meal, blood meal, or fish meal should be aware of the dangers of these soil amendment products. These meals are designed to naturally increase nitrogen content; unfortunately, they are quite palatable to both dogs and cats when accidentally ingested from the garden or yard.

Blood meal is dried, ground, and flash-frozen blood and contains 12% nitrogen. While it’s a great organic fertilizer, if ingested, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and severe pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). Some types of blood meal are also fortified with iron, resulting in iron toxicity.

Bone meal is made up of defatted, dried, and flash-frozen animal bones that are ground to a powder. Gardeners often use bone meal to dust spring bulbs (to prevent squirrels from ingesting the bulbs). This “bone” is also what makes it so palatable to your dog so make sure to keep your pet from digging in it and ingesting the soil. While this also makes a great organic fertilizer, it can become a problem when consumed in large amounts as the bone meal forms a large cement-like bowling ball foreign body in the stomach – which can cause an obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract – resulting in possible surgery to remove it.

Poison type: Fertilizers

Alternate names: bone meal, blood meal, organic fertilizers, fish meal, fertilizers