Can Fertilizer Make My Dog Sick?

Many dog owners may not be aware that certain kinds of fertilizer can pose a danger to their furry friends. While fertilizer helps your garden thrive, some types contain chemicals that can be toxic to dogs if ingested or if they come into contact with their skin. Pet owners need to be aware of the potential risks associated with fertilizers and take necessary precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of their beloved pets.  

Why is Fertilizer Dangerous to Dogs?  

Fertilizer is used to help the growth of plants and maintain healthy soil. It contains a variety of chemicals and minerals that can be extremely harmful to dogs if ingested. These substances include nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, iron, copper, zinc, cobalt, boron, manganese, and molybdenum, all of which can have adverse effects on pets.  

Consuming small amounts of fertilizer can cause stomach upset, while larger ingestions can result in severe poisoning. In cases where meal-based fertilizers are consumed, they can form a concretion in the stomach, leading to complications such as bowel obstruction or pancreatitis. To prevent any harm, it is strongly recommended to store all fertilizers in a secure location that is inaccessible to your pup. 

Fertilizer Toxicity  

If you suspect that your pup has ingested or inhaled fertilizer, you must seek medical attention right away. Potential symptoms of toxicity include the following:  

  • Drooling  
  • Nausea  
  • Vomiting  
  • Diarrhea  
  • Abnormal posture due to abdominal pain  
  • Difficulty breathing  
  • “Muddy” colored gums  


Contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 for medical assistance if your dog was exposed to fertilizer. Transport your dog to the veterinary clinic for treatment. Your veterinarian may induce vomiting to remove any remaining fertilizer and administer activated charcoal to bind the toxins. Depending on the type of fertilizer ingested, your veterinarian may also administer specific medications to address any chemical reactions. In severe cases, your dog may need to be hospitalized for close observation and supportive care.