What Happens If A Dog Eats Fertilizer?

Fertilizer is a must-have utility for healthy-looking plants in your garden or farm. It supplies plants with essential nutrients, which would have been hard to get from the soil.

You should properly store fertilizer according to provided instructions for best results. Moreover, proper storage will prevent incidences of fertilizer poisoning in pets such as dogs.

Canines’ curiosity may lead them to a bag or freshly sprinkled fertilizer on the ground. The outcome is not something you want your dog to go through. We look at what happens if your dog eats fertilizer and possible control measures for your convenience.

Is Fertilizer Bad For Dogs?

Your dog should not eat fertilizer! It contains several chemical compounds that can harm your pup. The effect of fertilizer depends on many factors, which we will look at later.

Why Is My Dog Eating Fertilizer?

Your dog will eat fertilizer for various reasons, they include:


Dogs are curious and want to know what you are spreading in your garden, and this interest may translate to a few licks. The good thing is that some garden additives taste and smell bad; hence, they repel your doggo.


Hunger is another reason why your dog wants a taste of fertilizer. Some brands have ingredients like fish meal and bone meal, whose scent attracts dogs. Furthermore, hungry dogs may try to eat anything to soothe their starves.

Pica Syndrome

Does your dog frequently eat non-food items? If yes, it may be down with pica syndrome, a mental condition where your dog craves and eats inedible stuff. It is serious as it can lead to poisoning, blockage, and injury due to the ingestion of foreign items.

Book an appointment with your vet if you suspect a case of pica syndrome.

Your Pup Needs Your Attention

Other times, your dog will eat fertilizer for attention. Sweet and innocent, right? You may notice this when you are spreading the fertilizer on your farm and not giving your furry friend your time.

Fertilizer Poisoning In Dogs

Poisoning occurs when your dog eats fertilizer. Reactions may be mild or severe, characterized by diarrhea, lethargy, vomiting, loss of appetite, and abdominal cramping. The severity of the situation depends on the factors highlighted below.

Type Of Fertilizer

Talking about fertilizer type, we focus on its contents and state. Organic fertilizers won’t have severe effects on your dog as artificial ones.

This farm utility contains additives like iron, copper, zinc, sodium, disulfoton, calcium, and ammonium. The contents are harmful to dogs, especially when taken in large quantities.

For instance, too much iron will cause iron poisoning, presenting signs like tremors and organ failure. Disulfoton may cause seizures and pancreatitis.

Liquid fertilizers cause milder reactions than solid ones. Besides, some liquid fertilizers have a pet-safe tag; thus, they are safe for dogs once it dries.

Your Dog’s Breed

Dog breeds like the Border Collie, Beagle, Siberian Husky, and Greyhound are famous for their resilience. They may withstand the effects of eating fertilizer better than other breeds, such as the Chow chow, Shih Tzu, and the English Bulldog.

Size, age, and health also matter. Bigger, younger and healthy canines will handle the poisoning better than their opposites.

Fertilizer Quantity

The more fertilizer your dog eats, the harsher the consequences. The good thing is that most dogs do not love the taste and smell of fertilizer, so they eat little of it. The problem gets serious if your doggo has pica syndrome, as it may overeat the farm additive.

Farm Chemicals In Fertilizer

Multipurpose fertilizers are among the finest in the market. Besides boosting plant growth, they contain farm chemicals, like herbicides and pesticides, to deal with stubborn weeds and pests. The farm chemicals are highly toxic to dogs and may cause death if ingested.

Fertilizer poisoning is a serious situation you should promptly attend to. In summary, the following are possible outcomes after your dog eats fertilizer.

  • Burns on the paw and mouth
  • Tummy upsets, resulting in vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal cramping
  • Organ failure, with the most affected being the pancreas, liver, and kidneys
  • Mineral toxicity can lead to dehydration, water retention, and cellular damage
  • Seizures, tremors, and death in severe cases

Is Old Fertilizer Bad For Dogs?

Keep old fertilizer far from your dog. The compounds in it may be unstable and lead to poisoning when consumed.

Moreover, fungi, like mold, may grow on the farm additive. Your canine may have a case of mycotoxins after eating the fungi and its spores.

What To Do When Dog Eats Fertilizer?

Your dog may eat fertilizer when you are not watching. Get it off the farm utility once you notice its mischief. Keep the bag safe, and note crucial details, like type, mineral composition, and expiry date.

Keep tabs on any reactions your dog may show. These include diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, burns on the mouth, and mood changes. If your dog is healthy and big, it may withstand these effects. Typically, mild reactions will subside within 6-24 hours.

Contact your vet if the symptoms persist. Meanwhile, offer your doggo some water for relief from the burning sensation.

Treatment Of Fertilizer Poisoning In Dogs

The veterinarian will examine your 4-legged friend to see how badly off it is. Most of the time, the pet doctor will recommend decontamination to remove the farm product from your canine’s system.

Your dog may need a drip in case of dehydration. Anti-diarrheal, anti-vomiting, and gut protectants are some remedies your vet may recommend for a speedy recovery.

How To Prevent Your Dog From Eating Fertilizer?

Prevention is always the best measure in sorting out various problems, including your dog eating fertilizer. Let us look at ways to stop the issue before it happens.

1. Proper Storage

Start by storing your gardening product in the right way. Use hardy bags that are less prone to wear, and keep the fertilizer in a hard-to-reach place. Clear away spills before your dog snacks on it. If you have a store, always lock it when you are not around.

2. Keep An Eye On Your Dog

You should have your eyes on your dog, as you don’t know where its mischief may lead it, especially after spreading manure on your garden. You may have it on a leash and keep it away from areas with freshly applied soil boosters.

Keeping an eye on your doggo may also help with attention-seeking behavior, one of the reasons it may eat fertilizer.

3. Get Pet-Safe Fertilizer

Some dogs are very adventurous, and it may be hard to keep an eye on them all the time. Such a scenario calls for pet-safe fertilizer. These farm additives are friendly to dogs and won’t upset them.

Regardless of the product’s pet-safe certification, dogs should not eat it.

4. Treat Pica Syndrome

As mentioned earlier, pica syndrome may be why your dog is eating fertilizer. Keep tabs on it and see if it is eating non-food items. Visit your pet doctor to treat this condition before it gets out of hand.

5. Training

Behavioral training is a sure measure at stopping your dog from eating things it should not eat. You may handle the training if you have experience; if not, have a certified trainer take charge.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Manure Bad For Dogs?

Manure is organic fertilizer, primarily composed of animal dung and rotting plant matter. Manure is not safe for dogs, as they may contract pathogens like salmonella or parasites from the waste matter. Also, some animal droppings may have toxins that they ingest from the surroundings. The toxins may affect your dog.

To add on, manure is messy and stinky; you should be ready for intensive cleaning and brushing should your dog eat this farm additive.

Is It Okay To Induce Vomiting When My Dog Eats Fertilizer?

Do not induce vomiting after your dog consumes the farming additive. It may worsen the situation by introducing the toxic material to other organs or lead to dehydration. Instead, offer it water as you contact your veterinarian for help.

Plus, inducing vomiting in canines is pretty challenging. Your doggo may turn aggressive if you try to make it throw up.

What Is The Remedy For Fertilizer Poisoning In Dogs?

There is no antidote for fertilizer poisoning in dogs. Nevertheless, it is an easy-to-control situation, as long as you act fast. Ensure you clear away the remaining fertilizer to prevent your dog from having another serving. Offer your dog water to rectify the ionic imbalance as you call your vet.

The vet will develop a treatment plan depending on the health and age of your dog, as well as how bad its reactions are. Anti-diarrheal and anti-vomiting drugs aid in your canine’s stability.

Why Does My Dog Love Organic Fertilizer?

Your dog cannot resist a bag of organic fertilizer due to its contents. This organic product may contain blood meal, bone meal, and fishmeal. Dogs love these meals and will gladly eat them when spread in the garden.

The downside is that overeating the fertilizer may upset the canine’s gastrointestinal system. While it may enjoy snacking on the organic plant booster, it is better if you prevent the behavior, as it may fall sick.

Which Fertilizer Is Suitable For Dogs?

While fertilizer is bad for your pup, some varieties are okay and tolerable. The pet-friendly type is acceptable as its contents are less toxic than the standard fertilizer. You may also consider the fully organic fertilizer, which contains animal products like bone meal, feather meal, and fishmeal.

These animal part derivatives are safe, and your dog can gain nutrients like calcium from them. Check the fertilizer’s labeling to ensure it does not have artificial additives.

Nevertheless, try your best for your doggo not to eat fertilizer, even dog-friendly types.

How Long Should My Dog Wait Before Playing On A Recently Top-Dressed Lawn?

Dogs love playing on lawns, and spreading fertilizer interferes with their fun. Your dog will not wait long before gracing its precious playing space.

Liquid fertilizer settles in fast, in roughly 72 hours. Solid fertilizer may take longer, requiring consistent watering before it settles in the soil. Your pup can come out and play once the farm additive settles in.

Final Words

Dogs put strange things in their mouths for many reasons, primarily curiosity. You may catch your four-legged friend red-handed eating fertilizer. Such a situation calls for calmness. Gently take away the soil booster and observe your dog for any anomalies, such as tummy upsets, dehydration, burns, and diarrhea. All is good if it doesn’t react to the farming product.

Call your pet doctor for advice if you notice any side effects. Note down the fertilizer’s details, such as ingredients and mineral content, for easy rehabilitation of your dog.

To avoid such problems, correctly store your fertilizer when not in use.

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