Lawn Fertilizers & Dog Seizures

Written by theresa bettmann
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Lawn Fertilizers & Dog Seizures
Dog owners need to use caution with lawn chemicals and fertilisers. (dog image by .shock from

Many dogs enjoy spending time outdoors, and often not all of that time is supervised by their owners. Dog owners who are also avid gardeners and landscapers need to understand the dangers of using lawn and garden products. Many fertilisers, mulches and lawn treatments contain toxic chemicals that can be poisonous to dogs. Such products cause a variety of side-effects, including seizures or even death.

Lawn Fertilizers are Toxic to Dogs

Poisoning does not occur only through direct ingestion of toxins found in lawn fertilisers. Dogs can also inhale fumes, absorb toxins through foot pads, eyes, or skin or even ingest while grooming themselves after being in a treated area. In order to keep dogs safe, they need to be kept away from designated treatment areas all together. It is also critical to remove toys, food, water dishes, bedding, or any item that belongs to a dog.

Cocoa Mulch

Cocoa bean mulch is a chocolate by-product that has become popular with many gardeners because of its appearance and sweet smell. However, that same sweet smell attracts dogs and is also potentially toxic. Cocoa mulch contains theobromine. This is the chemical found in chocolate that can prove fatal for dogs, especially in large quantities.

Symptoms of Poisoning

Dogs that have been affected might exhibit a variety of symptoms such as excessive tearing or salivating, nausea, vomiting, weakness, breathing difficulties, or even seizures. Dogs with a history of epilepsy are even more prone to seizures when exposed to the toxic chemicals found in fertilisers.


According to the Dog Health Guide, dogs will experience seizures in phases. The first includes nervousness, restlessness, whining or trembling. The seizure is considered the second phase where the dog might become unconscious. His limbs might peddle and twitch, and often a loss of bladder or bowel control follows. Although seizures seem to last a long time, typically an episode only lasts one to two minutes. During the third phase, the dog might become disoriented, confused or bump into things.


Any dog exhibiting symptoms needs immediate medical attention from a veterinarian because death can occur quickly. Time is critical and in many cases, the first step is to call the poison control centre. It will advise the necessary steps to begin treatment even before heading to the veterinarian. It is always important to know the type product used, and which chemicals they contain, for proper treatment.

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