Fertilizers are often used in the care of lawns, gardens, and indoor plants and in agriculture. The widespread use of these products in pets’ environments increases the likelihood of repeat exposure.

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In general fertilizers present a low-level risk of fatality. Intoxication is often limited to gastrointestinal irritation. However, all incidences of exposure should be reported immediately. It is important to note that the addition of ingredients (iron, herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides) to fertilizer products can increase the risk of toxicity.

There is little concern of toxicity once the applied fertilizer has dried. However, ingestion of treated grass, crops, or plants may still cause gastrointestinal distress to animals. Keep animals away from treated environments until this drying has occurred.

Signs and symptoms of toxicity: Increased saliva production, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal discomfort, loss of appetite and/or refusal to eat. Signs often occur within 2-10 hours of ingestion.

Toxic consumption: Seek help with any incident of ingestion, particularly with consumption of recently treated substances or if > 0.5 g/kg of body weight is ingested.

Dogs: Fertilizer Toxic Consumption
X-Small
Yorkie, Chihuahua
Small
Pug, Boston Terrier, Poodle
Medium
Beagle, Scottish Terrier
Large
Boxer, Cocker Spaniel
X-Large
Retriever, German Shepherd
XX-Large
Great Dane, St. Bernard
1 – 10 lbs.
(0.45 – 4.6 kg)
11 – 25 lbs.
(5 – 11.4 kg)
26 – 40 lbs.
(11.8 – 18.2 kg)
41 – 70 lbs.
(18.6 – 31.8 kg)
71 – 90 lbs.
(32.3 – 40.9 kg)
91 – 110 lbs.
(41.4 – 50 kg)
dog1 dog2 dog3 dog4 dog7 dog6
> 0.2 g > 2.4 g > 5.5 g > 9 g > 16 g > 20.5 g

 

Cats: Fertilizer Toxic Consumption
Most Cats

Large Cats
1 – 10 lbs.
(0.45 – 4.6 kg)
11 – 25 lbs.
(5 – 11.4 kg)
cat1 fat cat
> 0.2 g > 2.4 g

 

References:
– Albretsen JC. Fertilizers. In: Plumlee KH. Clinical Veterinary Toxicology. St Louis: Mosby, 2004; pp. 154-155.
– Osweiler, G, et al. (2011). Blackwell’s five-minute veterinary consult clinical companion. Small Animal Toxicology. [Kindle version]. Retrieved from Amazon.com