Kid-Friendly and Pet-Friendly Landscape Mulches
Learn about potential risks certain landscaping mulch products present to pets and people. Discover how to find pet-friendly mulches, and how you can protect your pets and children from harmful chemicals.
Pet-friendly mulches are something you should consider for your yard. Landscaping mulch is a popular element in residential landscaping. Mulch provides benefits such as improving your home’s curb appeal, protecting plant roots, controlling weeds, and preserving moisture in flower beds. However, some commercial mulch products contain chemical treatments that present health risks for pets.
Chemically treated wood mulches can be harmful when ingested, and sometimes when there is ongoing direct contact with skin. Dogs, in particular, for several reasons, will chew on shredded wood and consequently ingest wood treatment chemicals. Small children are well known to put things in their mouths, which results in children ingesting chemicals.
Plastic and rubber mulches can be a choking hazard for small children and pets. Mulch products made from recycled tires are particularly unsuitable for pet areas.
Allergic reactions are another risk to pets and people. Signs of suffering from an allergic reaction may include the appearance of a rash, excessive itching, throwing up, and lethargy.
Pet Friendly Mulches
Natural pine mulch, cypress mulch, and cedar mulch are the safest types of wood mulch. Pine straw is a safe mulch as it is all-natural, plus animals and pets do not chew on it. In any situation, natural and untreated mulches are preferred over man-made materials.
There are natural and synthetic mulch products made especially for dog runs and kennels. While these mulches are not a cost-effective product for general landscaping, they are well-suited for areas where pets are confined. Whereas landscaping mulches are suited for lawn and garden use, pet-safe mulches offer benefits such as being comfortable for pets and non-inviting to insects.