Lawn & Pool Hazards

Spring, summer, and fall are dangerous times for your pets. Some veterinarians refer to these seasons as the GI upset months. We see more vomiting and diarrhea cases during these months than any other time of the year from ingesting toxic substances. It is these times that most home owners tend to their lawns and many pet owners are not aware of the hazards of weed killers, topical parasiticides, insecticides and mulch. Most dogs and cats spend more time outdoors in the good weather and walk, roll and frolic on the lawns. They lick their paws and groom themselves and swallow whatever they lick. If the product on the lawn is not “pet friendly” vomiting and diarrhea may occur. Many companies use recycled coffee grinds in their mulch to attain a dark rich brown color. These coffee grinds are full of caffeine which is toxic to dogs and cats. An intestinal protozoan parasite known as Giardia has also been found in mulch. This parasite is contagious to humans and causes severe intestinal upsets in them also. Pool chemicals such as muriatic acid, chlorine, shock and pH powder are particularly dangerous, even if they just walk in it and lick it off their paws. Of course, fleas and ticks are in abundance during the warmer months of the year and your pets should be protected against them with topical applications of flea and tick repellants. This is much safer for your pet than putting insecticides on the lawn. Because of the increase of Lyme Disease in HUMANS in the northeast, the FDA now recommends all pets be protected with monthly topical applications against ticks ALL YEAR LONG.