Dogs love to chew, and a fresh bed of mulch is a prime target for digging and chewing. If your dog is a mulch eater, precautions should be taken as complications can result. Dogs that chew on small pieces of mulch or sticks can develop gum irritation from splinters that embed in the oral cavity. Large pieces of mulch, or large volumes of ingested material, can also result in gastrointestinal obstruction, which may require surgery.
Some types of mulch contain herbicides to prevent weed growth. While most are relatively benign, some are toxic and may result in gastrointestinal upset. Cocoa bean mulch, unfortunately, is particularly toxic to dogs. Large ingestion can result in severe signs, requiring hospital care.
If your pet is a mulch chewer, take care to use “pet safe” mulch in areas where your dog has access. You may also have to supervise your dog when he is outside to prevent him from consuming large pieces. Should you have questions about safe lawn products for your yard, please contact us at Hudson Veterinary Hospital, as we would be happy to assist you.