Garden Hazards

With the warmer weather, we tend to want to spend more time in our garden. Our furry family likes to help us and at times this can put them in danger.

There are some garden hazards for our pets that we need to be aware of:


Usually a mix of mouldy food and garden waste, this can produce some dangerous mycotoxins. Compost should be kept out of reach of our pets and well mixed into the soil if used on a garden.

Blood and Bone fertilizer

For some dogs this fertilizer is extremely palatable. Make sure that the bags are not accessible to your dogs and ensure that the fertilizer is mixed in well with soil when it is added to your garden.

Weed killer

Glyphosate is often an ingredient of weed killers. Consumed in sufficient quantities may lead to breathing and heart rate problems and convulsions. Keeping your pets inside while you apply the weed killer and waiting the time recommended on the packaging, before letting your pets outside again, is advised.

Lawn feed and Moss killer

Both of these have the potential to harm your pets skin or cause gastro intestinal challenges. Read the packaging very carefully with regards to the application and the toxicity to your pets.

Cocoa Mulch

This seemingly innocent product contains theobromine. This is the same ingredient that is in chocolate. Ingestion of this product can cause vomiting or diarrhoea, seizuring, muscle tremours and an elevated heart rate.

Slug and snail pellets

Metaldehyle based slug and snail pellets are a common cause of severe poisoning. Be aware of these dangers.

Garden tools

It sounds like common sense but we see many injuries caused by garden tools. Often these tools are sharp or pronged and these can cause pet injuries. Packing them in an area that your pet does not have access to will prevent this from happening

Mouldy bird food

If you feed your garden birds with bread or suet type balls, ensure that any mouldy pieces are removed. Mouldy bread or suet balls can contain mycotoxins which are very dangerous for dogs.

Bee and Wasp stings

Distract your dog or cat from annoying the bees or wasps where possible. In most situations the sting causes minor pain and irritation. Don’t be tempted to pull out the sting with tweezers as more often than not, this squeezes more of the venom out. Rather use a flat, rigid card to scrape the stinger away. Most stings will just require an icepack wrapped in a towel and applied to the irritated area.

Stings inside the mouth or on throat can be very serious and require immediate attention. Reactions to a sting in these areas can be life threatening due to difficulties breathing etc

What should you do if you suspect your pet has been poisoned or stung:

Have the poison packaging handy to help the vet identify the seriousness of the poisoning. Call the team at Otaki Vets on 06 364 6941 with any concerns.