Dogs are known for their curious nature, often sniffing and tasting things they come across during their outdoor explorations. Unfortunately, one hazard that dog owners need to be aware of is their pet’s inclination to eat potentially toxic products, such as fertilizer. Whether it’s the inviting smell or the appealing texture, dogs sometimes cannot resist consuming these gardening substances. This behavior poses both immediate and long-term dangers to dogs, making it imperative for pet owners to understand the risks associated with dogs eating fertilizer and take precautionary measures to prevent such incidents.
The Risks of Fertilizer Exposure
Fertilizer is used to promote plant growth and soil health. It contains various chemicals and minerals highly toxic to pets, leading to adverse effects if ingested. These potentially dangerous chemicals include nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, iron, copper, zinc, cobalt, boron, manganese, and molybdenum. Small amounts of fertilizer can cause stomach upset, while large ingestions can lead to severe poisoning. Meal-based fertilizers can form a concretion in the stomach, leading to bowel obstruction or pancreatitis. It’s advised to keep all fertilizers out of the reach of your pets.
Fertilizer Poisoning Symptoms
If you suspect that your pup has ingested or inhaled fertilizer, you must seek medical help immediately. Watch out for the following symptoms of poisoning below:
- Abnormal posture due to abdominal pain
- Difficulty breathing
- “Muddy” colored gums
Contact your veterinarian and Pet Poison Helpline at (855) 764-7661 for first aid advice if your dog was exposed to fertilizer. Take your pup to the veterinary clinic for evaluation and treatment. Your veterinarian may induce vomiting for decontamination and administer activated charcoal to reduce absorption. Depending on the type of filter ingested, your veterinarian may administer specific medications to address chemical reactions. In severe cases, hospitalization may be needed for observation and administering supportive care.