Scotts Company of Marysville, Ohio, manufactures fertilizer and plant food for gardens, houseplants, lawns and fields. The best known of these is sold under the Miracle-Gro brand name. The company says its lawn fertilizers are safe for dogs, but recommends following the directions on product labels.
Scott products most likely to come in contact with pets, particularly dogs and cats, are lawn and houseplant fertilizers.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration requires manufacturers like Scotts to compile a Material Safety Data Sheet. It must describe the brand-specific chemical properties in each product as well as physical data, all known health effects, first aid treatments, reactivity to other materials, storage requirements, handling procedures, safe disposal methods, personal protection, and procedures in case of a spill or leak.
Pet owners should read the MSDS label of the Scotts fertilizer they intend to use. The health effects that are described apply to pets as well as humans. For instance, the Miracle-Gro All Purpose Lawn Fertilizer granules cause eye and skin irritation and can be harmful if swallowed.
Avoiding contact with Scotts fertilizer is the best protection for your pets. Scotts recommends keeping your dog or cat off a newly treated lawn, according to the directions on the label. For Scotts Turf Builder Lawn Fertilizer, the company recommends watering the grass thoroughly and waiting until it dries before letting your pet loose on the lawn. Always store fertilizer in a secure place where pets cannot reach it. It should be kept in a cool, dry area away from foodstuffs or pet food and household cleaning products. Always wash hands thoroughly after handling and before touching your pet.
Cats who rub indoor plant pots can come in contact with the dust on Scotts Indoor Plant Food Spikes, which can cause upper respiratory tract irritation. Both cats and dogs eat leaves that may have dust on them. This can irritate their eyes or skin and cause nausea and irritation to the digestive system.
Keep the container of Scotts fertilizer in a convenient place for reference. The steps for first aid are listed on the MSDS information. These can range from flushing irritated eyes with water for 15 minutes, holding the eyelids open to remove the fertilizer, calling the poison control center, or taking your pet to the veterinarian.
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: Household Products Database: Scotts Company Products
- U.S. Department of Health & Human Services: Household Products Database : What is a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)?
- Washington State Department of Ecology: Southwest Missouri State University’s Office of Continuing Education: Reducing the Risk in the Yard and Garden .
- Scotts Company: Protect Your Lawn and Your Pet
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