The Top Danger To Dogs In The Garden

The Top Danger To Dogs In The Garden

There are numerous dangers to dogs in our gardens. This includes many plants, but the top danger to dogs in the garden are slugs and snails.

Dangers To Dogs In The Garden

Dangers in the garden to dogs include;-

  • Poisonous Plants – For more information on poisonous plants click here.
  • Prickly Plants – These can injure dogs paws, eyes and other soft tissue areas like the nose.
  • Ponds and Pools – Dogs are natural swimmers but small dogs and deep water could be a recipe for disaster.
  • Broken Fences – A dog might see his or her chance for adventure in the gap in the fence. Dangers include, getting caught and being trapped, actually getting out and running onto busy roads.
  • Gates – If a gate was fitted before the dog came along, check that the gap at the base of the gate is not large enough for your pet to get under.
  • Slugs and Snails –¬† The top danger to dogs in the garden, why? see below.

The Top Danger To Dogs In The Garden

Slugs And Snails

Not only are Slugs and Snails the bane of every gardeners life, they also can carry a parasite which if ingested by dogs can be fatal. Angiostrongylus vasorum  causes the disease Lungworm also known as French heart worm.



Dogs may ingest an infected slug or snail by accident whilst eating a blade of grass or even ingest slime from an infected mollusc. Symptoms include;-

  • Coughing
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Weight loss
  • Sickness
  • Diarrhea
  • Nose bleeds
  • Weakness
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis
  • Incessant bleeding from minor wounds

Lungworm can be fatal, however if caught early dogs can make a full recovery.


Prevention Is Better Than Cure

There is a vaccination available from all good vets which can be given with annual vaccinations. However the best way to protect your dogs from Angiostrongylus vasorum and subsequent lungworm is to keep the slug and snail population down to a minimum in your garden.

A Word Of Warning

To assist you in your fight, garden centres are full of products that claim to control the slug and snail numbers. Unfortunately most of these carry a warning to keep away from pets. Those that don’t may still contain chemicals harmful to your pet. Chemicals like;-

  1. Metaldehyde and Methicarb – Both of these chemicals can kill if they are consumed, many dogs will eat a slug even if it is dead.
  2. Aluminium Sulphate – Can irritate the skin, the eyes and the respitory system. Dogs use their sense of smell much more than we humans. Also linked with Alzheimers disease in both humans and dogs (Canine Cognitive Dysfunction) by some researchers.
  3. Iron Phosphate – Iron poisoning can cause damage to the digestive system, the liver and the heart.

Natural Remedies

There are many suggestions on how to deter slugs and snails from your garden, having tried a few they are all only effective if used constantly, remember slugs can produce 500 off spring a year.

I find by getting to know your enemy, you can best control it. Slugs like dark, damp places like rocks, brick walls, piles of wood, ponds, rubbish piles etc… So by clearing as many of these places of slugs and snails as regularly as possible less will be able to breed. Remember that if you are not going to kill them both slugs and snails have the ability to find their way back, so they need to be taken at least 20 metres away from your garden.

Encourage Predators

Creatures that prey on slugs and snails include;-

  • Frogs
  • Toads
  • Slow worms
  • Birds
  • Hedgehogs

By encouraging these animals into your garden it is possible to make it such an inhospitable place for slugs and snails that their numbers will be low enough that your dog never encounters any. Keeping your dog safe from lungworm.

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