Miracle-Gro plant food can be a great product for helping your plants grow healthy and strong – but is it safe for your dog when he inevitably starts playing in your garden? Miracle-Gro offers many different types of plant foods, from Liquid All Purpose Plant Food to Indoor Plant Food Spikes. Though Miracle-Gro is generally nontoxic – after all, you can use Miracle-Gro to feed plants that you later eat – there are some precautions you can take.
Make Sure Stakes and Tablets are in the Ground
Some Miracle-Gro plant food products, such as Plant Food Spikes and Quick Start Planting Tablets, say that pets can safely re-enter the area when these items are in the ground.
Call an Expert
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has an Animal Poison Control Center hotline that runs 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at (888) 426-4435. If you're worried that your pet may have ingested something poisonous, it's a great resource. A phone consultation costs $65. You can also call your local veterinarian's office if it's open.
Search the Product Using The Scotts Company's Material Safety Data Sheets
Miracle-Gro has safety information available through this database – just enter the product name and you can find safety information sheets for your specific kind of plant food. For instance, the Safety Data Sheet for Miracle-Gro Plant Food Spikes says that although the product is generally considered nonhazardous, it contains small amounts of methanol, which can cause lethargy, walking drunk, vomiting, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and central nervous system depression in dogs. Boric acid, also in the food spikes, can cause similar effects.
Induce Vomiting in Your Dog, if Necessary
Experts may advise you to induce vomiting in your dog. For this, you'll use hydrogen peroxide. Don't induce vomiting in your dog until you get the go-ahead from a vet since some types of poisoning are actually made more dangerous by vomiting. You will need 0.5 to 1 milliliter hydrogen peroxide per pound of animal weight. Note that hydrogen peroxide isn't safe to give to cats.
Apply Oatmeal to Irritated Skin
If your dog is itching after being in physical contact with the plant food, you may want to give him a bath. To further soothe the itching, you can grind oatmeal into a powder and put it in the bath with your dog – not only is it a tasty treat for your pooch, the oatmeal contains avenanthramides and phenols, which have anti-inflammatory, skin-soothing properties.
Use an Eye Rinse on Irritated Dog Eyes
If your dog's eyes are irritated and red, use an eye rinse, such as Nutri-Vet Eye Rinse, to help cleanse the eyes of irritants. You can also use a human contact lens solution. A simple eye irritation can sometimes be a symptom of a more serious problem, though, so it's always a good idea to contact a vet if your dog has irritated eyes.
Jaime is a writer living in New York City.