Prevention magazine’s April issue has an article entitled How Safe is Your Backyard? by Molly Raisch. She mentions possible problems with pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer and plants.

According to the article, studies show exposure to certain pesticides and herbicides for a year or more can increase risks of bladder cancer and lymphoma. The main ingredient of concern is the 2, 4-D compound used to kill weeds such as dandelions and clover.

Fertilizers, especially organic ones, made of things like bonemeal and bloodmeal can be tasty for dogs but can cause problems such as vomiting and gastrointestinal blockage.

A variety of plants can be poisonous to your dog. You can find a full listing of those at the ASPCA site.

When you are out doing some yard work this spring, take some extra time to consider what other hazards might be lurking in your backyard. One hazard I see in clients’ yards far too often is metal lawn edging. Dogs can easily slice their feet open on this edging. I would also look at anything your dog might chew that is not safe. For some dogs this includes water sprinklers, picnic tables, and even house siding. It’s also a good time to check your fencing to ensure there are no holes or places your dog could escape.

Keep your dogs safe, and enjoy your spring!