The Poisons Center has already received 82 calls in 2022, including 51 for dogs after exposure to fertilizers, the Center said in a press release on Friday. Fertilizers contain various substances that can be very toxic to both humans and animals. Fertilizers made from cocoa pods are particularly toxic to dogs, as are fertilizers enriched with castor bean pulp, recalls the Anti-Poison Center, which adds that plant food in the form of NPK (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) granules is not not without risk either.
“The fact that the fertilizers contain bone meal, which is also present in animal foods such as dog kibble, makes them very attractive for the latter”, explains Professor Dominique Vandijck, Deputy Director General of the Center Poisons.
The Poisons Center has thus recorded a significant increase of almost a third in the number of calls for cases of exposure to fertilizers during the first year of the covid pandemic, from 259 in 2019 to 354 in 2020 including 191 just for dogs. A phenomenon which is explained by the fact that teleworkers have spent more time in their garden due to confinement and that many people have also taken a pet.
In 2021, the number of cases of fertilizer exposures continued to be high (348 including 206 dogs) and in the first three months of 2022, the Center has already received 82 calls, while the peak in fertilizer use is yet to come, warns the Center for which “it is therefore preferable to keep children and dogs away when working with fertilizers, at least until the product has penetrated the soil”.