Dog Articles - Avoiding the Dangers of Herbicides and Pesticides

Avoiding the Dangers of Herbicides and Pesticides


There’s not much we dogs love more than a nice romp and roll in a grassy yard in the summertime; except maybe sticking our noses all around the house looking for things to get into. That’s why dog owners must be extremely vigilant to avoid dog poisonings. The following tips and information will help you keep your dog safe.

According to EAGLE (Environmental Association for Great Lakes Education) which sites both the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, “dogs exposed to herbicide treated lawns and gardens can double their chances of developing canine lymphoma and may increase the risk of bladder cancer in certain breeds by four to seven times.”

There are many dangerous chemicals used by homeowners and sprayed by neighbors and communities that can make your dog sick. The following chemicals are especially dangerous and should be avoided.

Organophosphorous
Used for pest control, this chemical causes sweating, tremors, constriction of pupils, excessive salivation, vomiting, slow pulse, loss of consciousness, los of reflexes, diarrhea, coma, and death.

Rodenticides
These chemicals are used to eradicate rodent pests. They cause depression, lethargy, anemia, weakness, hemorrhaging, seizures, respiratory paralysis, and death.

Metaldehyde
This chemical is found in snail, slug, and rat poison. It causes abdominal cramps, seizures, vomiting, and death.

Arsenic
Arsenic is found in herbicides, insecticides, and pesticides. It causes vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pains, coma, and death.


Avoiding Accidental Poisoning

Do not use pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides with that include the above chemicals. If you must, store them well out of your dog’s reach. Read the instructions and safety labels carefully and do not allow your dog to contact any treated areas for at least the minimum time indicated on the labeling.

Maintain an open dialogue with your neighbors about their herbicide, pesticide, and insecticide application. Request that they inform you of what products/companies they are using, and that they give you 48 hour notice of any application.

Notify local spraying companies that spraying adjacent to your yard may not be conducted without giving you 48 hours written notice.

Post signs in your yard our on your fence that clearly indicate that no pesticide, herbicide, or insecticide spraying may be conducted in or on your property.

Look into local, city, and county spraying policies. Find out when city- or county-wide spraying will take place. Request information on what chemicals will be used and request that your yard is left out if possible. If not, request 48 hours written notice.

If you rent, discuss spraying protocol with your landlord or rental company. If it is reasonable (if you rent a house with its own yard, as opposed to an apartment) request that spraying not take place on your rental property. Otherwise, request 48 hours written notice in writing.

Educate yourself on state laws and your rights regarding local pest control. If any incidents take place regarding pesticide, herbicide, or insecticide, inform your state’s Department of Agriculture and/or other state agency with jurisdiction over environmental concerns.


If you suspect that your dog has come in contact with the above chemicals, do not guess how to treat him. The treatments for various types of poisoning are vastly different. The treatment for one type of poison can drastically worsen another type of poisoning.  Call your vet immediately. Also, do not assume your vet will know exactly what to do; call the manufacturer of the pesticide, herbicide, or insecticide for recommended treatment protocol.


Keep those pooches safe! Get ready for tomorrow’s tips on dogs and cats living in harmony.

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