Lawn Hazards for Dogs | PetFirst
Lawn Hazards for Dogs
Pet Care & Health

Lawn Hazards for Dogs

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
8 months ago

It’s always a good idea to give your dog some outdoor time each day to let them do their business and get some exercise in the fresh air. But did you know that your lawn could actually pose several dangers to your dog? Keep an eye out for these seven common lawn hazards so you can make sure they don’t harm your pet.  

Chemical Treatments  

There are two primary types of chemical treatments that you might use on your yard — chemicals for your lawn and pesticides to keep bugs or rodents away. Both types can be equally dangerous for your dog.   

Lawn treatments such as weed killers or fertilizer to make your grass grow may be toxic to dogs6. Additionally, your dog might be bringing those dangerous chemicals inside to you and your kids. After you get your lawn sprayed, keep your dog off of it for a few days. If you can, take him or her on a leash down the road to use the bathroom somewhere else. You can choose to go with organic lawn care, too.  

Pesticides can harm your dog, too — especially insecticides and snail bait7. Do some reading to learn which pesticide ingredients you should avoid and which ones are safe. And just like with herbicides, don’t let your dog on your lawn for a couple of days after pesticides have been sprayed. It’s also important to pick up any dog toys or feeding bowls that are in your yard before the yard is sprayed.  

Before you use any chemicals on your lawn, be sure to consult your vet for pet safe options. 


Mulch that’s made of cocoa bean shells could potentially be toxic to your dog8. Additionally, mulch might harbor dangerous pesticides or mold — and large pieces of mold could splinter and injure your dog’s mouth or throat. If possible, use a non-toxic substance like rubber mulch or pine needles in your yard instead. 

Be sure to consult with your vet to learn about safe mulch options if you have a furry family member that will be enjoying the outdoor space.


Sticks might not seem like a danger. In fact, you might encourage your dog to fetch the sticks lying around your yard. And that’s okay — playing fetch with sticks is generally safe! But if your dog takes the stick off somewhere to begin chewing on it, redirect your pet’s attention somewhere else.

You don’t want a small piece of wood to splinter off and get stuck in your dog’s throat. Splinters also have the potential to cause an intestinal blockage if your dog swallows a little piece of wood9. Save the sticks for supervised playtime and provide your dog with other safe chew toys instead.  


During rainy times of the year, you might see little mushrooms popping up all over your yard. They might look cute, but if your dog decides they look like food things can get bad fast. Jo Marshall, CVT, NREMT, and a Senior Veterinary Information Specialist, explains for Pet Poison Helpline10 that mushrooms can cause the following types of toxicity:  

  • Gastrointestinal upset: if ingested, these can cause vomiting and diarrhea 
  • Hallucinogenic mushrooms: these cause behavioral changes and weakness, requiring hospitalization for your dog 
  • Cyclopeptides: this mushroom can be deadly if ingested by your furry friend
  • Hydrazine: mushrooms with hydrazine toxins cause liver necrosis within a few hours — immediate treatment is important 
  • Isoxazoles: commonly requires a pets stomach to be pumped immediately if ingested
  • Muscarinic: muscarinic toxins cause symptoms such as salivation, uncontrolled urination, and gastrointestinal distress – if ingested, your pet must get to the vet for treatment quickly 

It can sometimes be difficult to accurately identify different types of mushrooms at first glance. Play it safe by picking all mushrooms in your yard, regardless of whether they appear toxic or not. Then remember to wash your hands before touching your face. 


Does your yard have little visitors like toads in the evening? Your dog might be ready to make friends — but don’t count on the toad feeling the same way.

Several species of toads secrete a toxic substance when they feel threatened11. If your dog ingests that substance, it might not survive. Keep an eye on your dog when you let it out at night so you can steer him or her away from any toads that might be around.  

Lawn Tools and Toys  

Make sure you pick up all of your garden tools and remind your kids to pick up their toys before coming inside. It’s especially important to not leave any tools with sharp edges (such as a rake or hedge trimmers) lying in the grass. And if your children have toys with small detachable parts, put those away so they don’t become a choking hazard 


Flowers are a great way to spruce up your lawn and give your house more curb appeal. They also smell great! But did you know that many types of flowers are poisonous to dogs? According to The Kennel Club12, there are many flowers and plans that are poisonous to dogs.

Here are a few examples that are commonly poisonous to dogs:  

  • Azalea 
  • Daffodil bulbs 
  • Day lilies 
  • Delphiniums 
  • Hyacinth 
  • Hydrangea 
  • Ivy 
  • Morning glory 
  • Rhododendron 
  • Sweet pea 
  • Tulip bulbs 
  • Wisteria 

Before you add any flowers or plants to your yard, run a quick Internet search to ensure that the plants you have in mind aren’t toxic should your dog take a bite.  

It’s your job to keep your pet safe. But sometimes unexpected accidents and illnesses happen — and when they do, we’re here to help.

Here at PetFirst1, we know accidents and illnesses happen to all pets – even while enjoying time outside. PetFirst Pet Insurance1 can help cover unexpected vet visits2 and can provide peace of mind. PetFirst Pet Insurance1  has cat and dog insurance policies2 to fit every budget.

Consider getting pet insurance for your furry friend today.




1PetFirst Healthcare, LLC (“PetFirst Pet Insurance” or “PetFirst”) is the program administrator authorized to offer and administer pet health insurance policies underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, a Delaware insurance company, with its main office at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, or New Hampshire Insurance Company or The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, each with its main administrative office at 500 West Madison Street, Suite 3000 Chicago, IL 60661. For costs, complete details of coverage, and a listing of approved states, please contact PetFirst Healthcare, LLC. 

2Like most insurance policies, insurance policies offered by PetFirst Healthcare, LLC contain certain exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force.   

6Clean Air Lawn Care: Lawn pesticides and pets, July 11 2019, Emily Reeves 

7Pet Care RX: How to avoid insecticide poisoning in dogs and cats, February 5, Sora Wondra

8Family Handyman: Is mulch safe for dogs to eat?, June 18 2020, Rosie Wolf Williams 

9AKC: Sticks and stones: Can they hurt dogs?, June 6 2019, Denise Flaim 

10Pet Poison Helpline: Mushrooms, Jo Marshall

11VCA Animal Hospital: Toad poisoning in dogs, Rania Gollakner  

12The Kennel Club: House and garden plants poisonous to dogs

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