Is Fertilizer Bad for Dogs?

Is fertalizer bad for dogs?

Studies have shown that fertilizers account for over 30 percent of garden supply sales. As most Americans try to get their lawns in as perfect shape as possible, they are blowing through a wide variety of fertilizes. Sadly, the effect that this has on the surrounding animals, especially canines, is detrimental.

Fertilizers and Dogs

Adopting the use of fertilizers is an awesome way to provide your lawn with an efficient and healthy source of nutrients. That being said, there are some fertilizers whose ingredients are not exactly —err, how should I put this— just seem to call out your dog’s name. If your dog likes rolling around near potent fragrances, or perhaps he or she has a penchant for protein smells and taste, you can prevent the canine from continuing with this behavior in several ways.

It is an understandable sentiment to be afraid of the effects that could befall your pets from fertilizers. They are often delivered together with warning caveats which state that toddlers and animals ought to keep off the grass for at least 48 hours. However, what people don’t know is, most fertilizer spreads are overall pretty harmless. In fact, most fertilizer spreads have different levels of safety and toxicity which vary depending on the type of fertilizer brand is used.

Answering the Question

So, the short answer to the above question is: it depends entirely on the kind or brand of fertilizer you use. The very same substances that allow your grass to grow lushly and greenly may also result in devastating health problems for your pup. It is important to find the right balance for potent and effective fertilizer and canine-friendliness.

In conventional instances, if your pup has ingested grass that you suspect has some fertilizer on it, rarely should you worry too much about poisoning. However, that being said, more worry should arise if your dog has directly ingested the fertilizer.

What Does Fertilizer Contain?

Most lawn fertilizers come in two types: either water-based or in granule form. Most fertilizer spreads also contain some natural elements (such as potash, nitrogen, and phosphorous) — and you can see these proportions on the fertilizer labeling. Thankfully, these substances are usually not harmful. Some fertilizers often also have in some insecticides which are meant to kill snails, grubs, and etcetera. If these are ingested, they are generally known to cause moderate to severely painful symptoms ranging from diarrhea, vomiting, drooling, etc.) If eaten straight out the bag. It is of not that more harmful and pernicious fertilizers happen to be organic fertilizers. This is something that most dog owners usually overlook and conflate. Most of them seek to adopt the use of “safer” fertilizers around their dogs, and therefore they usually go for organic products, under the misapprehension that they are necessarily not harmful to the dog since they are not harmful to the environment. This is a wrong intuition. Organic fertilizers usually are the leftover remnants of “natural” fertilizers in the farming or meatpacking industry. Here we are talking about fish meal, feather meal, blood meal or bone. These so-called organic products are prevalent in use as complementary fertilizer components, like rabbit and deer repellents, and more especially as fertility enhancing products.

Other fertilizers have nothing in them other than essential botanical nutrients that are in their gentle forms, and these ones are generally safe around your canines. The most crucial thing to take note of is marking the fertilizer that has harmful components in it and ensuring that the canine has no access to it. Your focus should be barring any chances of the dog accessing toxic material.

Observing Your Canine’s Demeanor

The difficult thing to create a conceptual balance around is, as well as being the difficult thing about owning a dog, is that your fertilizer goes precisely where your canine usually puts his nose. Dogs are by nature scavengers. Most like to smell the earth and soil and make holes all around with their noses. The problem here is, this is precisely where your fertilizer is held, at least until it seeps into the soil in your lawn and is converted into lush grass.

If you want to minimize poisoning risk for your pet, you’re advised to keep your animals away from the lawn at least until the fertilizer spread has been completely absorbed into the soil. If it is diluted and applied appropriately, these fertilizer chemicals seep into the earth quickly after rain, which means there is less risk of poisoning to dogs.

My Dog Ate Toxic Fertilizer — Now What!?

There is a bevy of things that are contained in fertilizers that could make us conclude on their safety. If you harbor suspicions that your pet canine might have ingested a poisonous substance, the first thing to do is call your emergency veterinarian forthwith. The quickness with which you must do this cannot be understated. To avoid of any of this though, if you are the kind of person who would rather prevent than cure, you should ensure that your dog is safe at all times by making sure that your fertilizers and toxic chemicals are out of the canine’s reach, and by taking a healthy amount of time before even considering the thought of going back to the yard.


You should steer clear of applying fertilizers when it is windy. Also, it is recommended that you sweep fertilizer residue, granules that are on hard surfaces, say, such as curbs, sidewalks, and driveways, ensure that you reverse into laws to prevent it from running off into groundwater supplies and the gutter water systems; and ensure that you remove any spills as soon as they happen to prevent the likelihood of scorching or poisoning.

All in all, as long as you make a point of training your dog, avoiding bone, fish and blood meal, which happen to be big attractants of dogs as well as being toxic to them, as long as you go for fertilizing agents that are plant-based and avoid leaving spills and runoffs, you should be okay.

About Seth 58 Articles
Hey, Seth here! As a homesteader and self sufficient farmer, my main interests are in gardening, tree care and lawn care. There is nothing I appreciate more than having a beautiful and healthy home garden. I spend most of my days gardening, caring for my small orchard and a few animals that I keep. I thoroughly enjoy working on my garden as well as sharing tips and experiences with people who have the same passion. My education in environmental science and technology has also led me to explore agriculture from a different perspective and exchange information with people from around the world.

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