Cedar Mulch & Dogs

by Naomi Millburn, Demand Media
    Keep your furry pal safe in your garden.

    Keep your furry pal safe in your garden.

    If you're an avid gardener, then you're probably fully aware of the importance of mulch. After all, the stuff helps keep your soil well-hydrated and also keeps pesky weeds at bay. However, some common types of mulch can be toxic to your precious dog, so be extremely careful.

    Cedar Mulch

    If your doggie spends a lot of time in your backyard, then it's almost inevitable that he'll end up in the mulch. However, mulch can bring upon some negative effects in your pet if he consumes any of it, according to the ASPCA. Wood-based mulches often consist of resins and natural aromatic oils that may present discomfort to your cutie's digestive tract. If your dog somehow eats a lot of cedar mulch, it could even trigger some physiological issues within his central nervous system -- not good at all.

    Symptoms

    In the event that you are suspicious that your dog got his paws in the mulch and actually ate some, keep your eyes wide open for indications of digestive distress, such as appetite loss, throwing up and excessive salivation. Also be alert for any indications of central nervous system difficulties, including slow heart rate and problems breathing. Upon observing any of these symptoms, seek emergency veterinary care for your dog. Every second counts in these types of health situations, so act swiftly.

    Cocoa Mulch

    Although cedar mulch can indeed bring upon potential harm to canines, the Humane Society of the United States indicates that it is of lesser danger than another common mulch type -- cocoa mulch. Mulches made of cocoa bean shells are often adored for their cozy, chocolatey scent. However, similarly to sweet chocolate itself, these mulches can be extremely toxic to your beloved pet, in severe situations sometimes leading to convulsions, tremors, diarrhea, throwing up and an unusually fast heart rate. The more cocoa mulch your pet consumes, the more serious the symptoms typically get, unsurprisingly. Act immediately if you suspect for any reason that your dog ingested any cocoa mulch at all. Cocoa mulch consumption in pets is a serious veterinary emergency, and sometimes can even be fatal.

    Monitoring

    Wood-based gardening mulches, as mentioned before, are in no way entirely risk-free when it comes to your dog. Apart from cedar mulch, some other examples of these are hemlock bark, shredded pine, fir and spruce. However, the Humane Society of the United States notes they are still significantly less dangerous options when compared with cocoa. If you utilize any cedar or other wood mulch in your garden, never allow your dog to roam free unless you are closely monitoring him 100 percent of the time.

    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images