How to Choose Pet-Safe Mulch
When you have pets, you need to choose a type of mulch that will be safe for them. This means thinking about the different ways that mulch could be dangerous. Ingestion and injuries to your dog or cat’s paws are the two biggest concerns. Let’s look at each of these factors so that you know what to choose to keep your furry friends safe.
Avoid Large Chunks and Sharp Edges
Dogs like to chew on things—and if they chew on mulch, they could swallow some of it, which could lead to choking or even an accidental poisoning. In general, choose a finer mulch made up of smaller pieces so that if your dog swallows a piece, it isn’t so large that it causes a choking hazard or a gastrointestinal obstruction. Sharp mulch—like splintery wood or pine needles—can also damage the lining of a dog’s stomach. Also be aware that mulch with sharp edges can injure your pet’s feet.
Another thing to keep in mind are chemical treatments or natural toxins within the mulch. Some mulches are treated with chemicals to enhance their longevity or to help prevent weeds. These can be toxic to dogs, as can be naturally occurring toxins like those found in mulch made of cocoa shells. Cocoa shell mulch is rare in the United States, but always check your mulch for toxins before using it in areas where pets like to play!
Wherever possible, check the labels on the bags of mulch that you are purchasing, or ask the retailer about pet-safe mulch for your animals. There are lots of pet-friendly options out there, like straw, wood shavings and other types of soft mulch. With a bit of information about the varieties available to you, it’s easy to safeguard your pet’s health.