Compost—it’s a great way to utilize kitchen scraps, help out the environment, and make your garden amazing. But did you know that it could be deadly for your dog?
Why is compost bad for dogs?
You might be wondering why compost is bad for your furry friend. After all, dogs eat crazier stuff than food scraps. The danger with compost lies in a fungus called tremorgenic mycotoxin that can occur in moist, decomposing food. To be clear, we’re talking about compost that contains food waste, not just leaves, grass, or yard clippings. This dangerous fungus can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms in your dog, like:
- Uncoordinated movements
- Fluid in the lungs
If you think your dog has been sampling food-based compost—even if it’s just a bite—then call your vet. The treatment for tremorgenic mycotoxin poisoning includes intravenous fluids and inducing vomiting. In other words, not something to try at home!
How to keep your dog away from the compost
Though this all sounds scary, it’s easily preventable. Deter your opportunistic eater from the compost bin or pile by making it as unattractive to a dog as possible.
- Keep tight lids on any indoor compost bins—you can even put heavy bricks on the top.
- Supervise your dog outside to make sure they are staying out of the compost pile.
- Build a bin with a floor so that tenacious dogs can’t dig around it.
- Don’t put meat, fish, bones, dairy products, grease or oil in the compost bin. These items attract dogs (and other animals) and slow down your composting process.
- Avoid using blood meal as an accelerator. Even though you can’t smell it, your dog can!
By keeping the compost locked away from curious or hungry noses, you’re protecting your dog while still helping the environment.