Potential Pet Poison Dangers in Your Backyard

For pet owners, a backyard is often an essential detail when buying a home.

You want your backyard to be a safe and fun haven for your pooch, but there are potential poisonous dangers that he could get into that’ll make him sick…or worse. Here’s a list of poison dangers that could be lurking in your backyard—make sure they have no place on your lawn.

Fertilizers and Pesticides

Fertilizers are usually safe for pets, but they often contain blood meal, bone meal, and feather meal. If your pooch were to eat a large quantity of it, the meal can potentially obstruct the gastrointestinal tract, severe pancreatitis. And you know those pesticides you use to keep your lawn and garden bug-free? They can be full of organophosphates, and when even a small amount of it is ingested by your dog, it can be life-threatening.


Composting is a wonderful way to be eco-conscious. You’re able to keep certain products out of the landfill while helping your garden bloom beautifully. But to dogs, it smells like the best meal ever—that’s why you need to keep entry to this forbidden buffet secure. Because compost contains organic matter, as it decomposes, the mold that grows can be toxic to pets and wildlife so please keep it fenced off. As the organic matter decomposes, it is common for molds and tremorgenic mycotoxins to grow, some of which produce hazardous to pets. If your pet has been into the compost, you may notice he is vomiting, panting, drooling, and tremors—these symptoms can present in as little as 30 minutes. If you think your dog has eaten compost, a visit to the vet is a must.

dog yard

Photo by Steshka Willems from Pexels


Cocoa bean mulch is a must for many gardeners. Made from the discarded hulls of the cocoa bean (the by-products of making chocolate products), the yummy smell of this mulch can be too tempting to pooches. The problem is that the cocoa bean hulls can still contain theobromine and caffeine, two toxins that are deadly to dogs. But there’s no way to tell which batches of cocoa bean mulch contain low or high amounts of the toxins. Mulch with low levels often don’t lead to any problems; it’s the varieties with higher toxin concentrations. If your dog gets into mulch, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abnormal heart rhythm, seizures and sometimes, death. So if you’re a pet owner and a gardener, use a different kind of mulch or just skip it altogether.

Slug and Snail Bait

Slugs and snails can turn your garden into a smorgasbord, so many people turn to bait such as pellets, granular, powder, and liquid to get rid of them. Baits contain highly poisonous metaldehyde, and when ingested by pets, can cause symptoms including salivation, restlessness, vomiting, tremors, seizures, and life-threateningly high body temperature within one to two hours. There are lots of all-natural slug and snail baits available for purchase or that you can make at home—it’s definitely worth the extra effort and price if you have a pet.

Meet the Author: Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic is the Editor of Petguide.com, the flagship site to over 70 different pet communities, which offers pet parents a one-stop-info-shop for all things dog and cat related. Amy's been with PetGuide since the beginning, guided by the wisdom of her Shih Tzu mix and furry roommate, Oscar. Together, this pet power couple has their paw on the pulse of the pet industry, sniffing out trends, advice, news, tasty treat recipes and other tail-wagging stories.

Potential Pet Poison Dangers in Your Backyard



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