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Keeping Pets Safe when You Fertilize

July 16, 2019

We all want a lush green lawn, bountiful garden, and blooming flowerbeds. But we also want healthy pets. Here’s what you need to know about fertilizing, and when it’s safe for your pets to go back into the yard.

What is Fertilizer

There are some basic ingredients in most bags of fertilizer. These include nitrogen, potash (potassium), and phosphorous. When spread out on a lawn, applied to flowerbeds, or added to a garden they don’t pose a huge risk to pets unless the granules are eaten in large quantities. This includes being consumed out of an open bag.

Additionally, dogs and other pets can get sick when walking on a recently fertilized area that has also been watered. This is because they can lick the liquid or liquified fertilizer off their paws and get sick.

When It’s Safe for Pets (and People)

Most manufacturers state that once the fertilizer is absorbed by the soil and the area is dry, it is safe for pets and people to return to the yard. Liquid fertilizers are often safe once the grass is visibly dry. Granular fertilizer manufacturers overall urge pet owners to allow 24 hours before allowing animals and people back onto the lawn. Gardens and flowerbeds follow a similar time-frame.

If you choose to water later, some fertilizers are safe for pets immediately after application. This includes Scotts® Turf Builder® Lawn Food. Again, be sure to follow the directions on the packaging or ask the folks at your nearby Coastal for advice.

Signs of Extreme Exposure

If your canine or cat eats granular fertilizer in large quantities or drinks an undiluted mixture, they can experience drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive tearing, lethargy, difficulty breathing, seizures, and sometimes death. Call your veterinarian if any of these symptoms seem to originate with the ingestion of a fertilizer.

Call Dog Poison Control

You should always call your vet right away if your pet is in distress. But there is also assistance and advice from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

Get Garden, Yard, and Pet Products at Coastal

We carry everything you need for your garden, yard, and pets at your Northwest owned and operated Coastal. Pick up all the bags of fertilizer you need for your yard and garden, and don’t forget to go home with pet food, treats, and toys for your family’s best friend and protector.