Lime is applied on lawns to reduce the soil acidity and ensure your rush of green thrives well. Unlike any other pets, dogs are lively and playful. All pet owners are concerned about their pets; thus, it’s essential to equip yourself with a full understanding of lawn lime and its effect on dogs.
Most chemicals are toxic and pose a significant threat to pets who like playing or just relaxing on the lawn. There are lots of harmful effects associated with your dog’s exposure to such chemicals. But is lawn lime one of those chemicals?
Lime pellets are relatively safe! Even then, any dog lover must know some tips before letting the dog romp on the lime-sprayed lawn.
Here is everything you need to know about lawn lime. Maintain your lawn and still be sure of your dog’s safety!
What is Lime?
Lime is a mineral substance rich in calcium, and it’s from limestone. Although lime is a versatile substance used in almost all sectors, it’s mainly a fertilizer.
Lime reduces the soil acidity and boosts your lawn ability to absorb nutrients from the soil. If the soil pH is below 3.0, it’s considered very acidic, and grass cannot thrive well in such soil conditions.
Before lime application in your yard, you’ll need to know your soil pH. You can do it yourself, or you can opt to hire a professional to test your soil.
Types of Lime
1. Lime Pellets
Lime pellets are the easiest way to keep your lawn shining, making the outdoors cozy and inviting. If you are a pet owner, this is your best fit. With pellets, it’s generally safe, and you can apply lime without worrying about your dog.
Although the pellets are hard to distribute throughout the yard equally, most lawn owners still prefer this type of lime.
2. Quick Lime (Caustic Lime)
This type has the advantage of raising your yard’s pH in no time. However, it poses a significant risk of irritation to both pets and their owners. It’s not the best type of lime to go for if you are a dog owner.
Hydrated lime is quick lime with water content in it. It is convenient for lawn owners with small lawns.
3. Non-caustic lime
It’s from either calcium or sometimes from dolomite. Powdered brands of this lime type are for commercial and large scale lawn maintenance.
Non-caustic limes are generally safe; they cannot cause serious health effects or death to dogs. Although they are non-toxic, they are not 100% secure, and you cannot let your dog freely when applying this type of lime to your lawn.
Besides, they are in the form of dust and are easy to inhale or be brown by the wind.
Non-caustic lime is more effective than pellets; however, it can easily be brown, leaving out residues at your pet’s favorite place.
Does Lime Hurt Pets?
Lime is not toxic, but that doesn’t mean it’s 100% safe for your pet. Furthermore, for dogs, this question is more complicated.
The only sure way to curb the situation is keeping your dog off the lime site until all the lime, whether pellets, powder or the hydrated type, is fully absorbed in the soil.
The most hazardous type of lime fertilizer is the hydrated one. If your fur friend accidentally takes it, it results in severe burns in the digestive tract. Furthermore, it may also pose the same threat to human beings.
It’s wiser for pet owners to avoid this lime fertilizer.
Besides, dry hydrated fertilizer is also a threat to pets. When it comes into contact with the skin, it gets moisturized and consequently results in skin burns.
Severe caustic burns are irreversible and may damage the skin of your pet. If you opt to use these lime types, hiring a professional is better. You leave it to the experts to handle the application.
Lawn lime has the same effect on dogs as it would for any person who directly exposes it. However, dogs romp on the lawn, putting them at a higher risk.
Lime is a highly alkaline substance; thus, its direct contact with the skin causes an irritating effect.
Tips to Ensuring Your Dog’s Safety
The following safety precautions will ensure that your dog is safe when you apply lime on your lawn:
- Don’t allow your dog to play on the newly lime-treated lawn
- Wait for heavy rains to dissolve the lime before letting your dog romp on the lawn; this ensures the soil fully absorbs the lime.
- If it’s on a dry season, water the lawn frequently for a few days until you are sure all the lime fertilizer has dissolved, then you can let your dog freely play and rest in the lawn.
- Keep your dog indoors, especially when applying lime pellets on your lawn. These particles are very toxic when inhaled or if the wind blows them, and they accidentally enter your pet’s eyes.
Lawn lime is non-toxic when eaten in low quantities. However, it would help if you can keep off your dog from licking these pellets.
Even though licking the lime fertilizer is not so toxic, recommendations are that your dog is kept totally out of the lawn area during application. Inhaled pellets result in serious respiratory problems.
Furthermore, after you have finished applying lime to your lawn, ensure you clean up all the equipment used and dump all the emptied lime bags to ensure your dog doesn’t lick lime fertilizer from the opened bags.
If your dog accidentally takes in excess amounts of lime by any chance, seek professional assistance by taking the pet to the veterinary immediately.
Tip to Ensure Owner’s Safety
Besides, it would help if you also protect yourself when applying lime on your lawn. Make sure you wear a protective suit during this process to protect your skin and eyes from coming into contact with the lime.
Effects of Your Dog Eating Lime Fertilizer
Large amounts of ingested lime fertilizers are harmful to any pet. No matter how careful you are, sometimes the dog will end up eating the fertilizer. Some effects associated with this include digestion problems like stomach ache and constipation.
Additionally, excess calcium oxide in lime may lead to hypercalcemia.
It is a condition where calcium level in the blood exceeds the required. It brings a toxic effect to the whole body. Hypercalcemia brings forth some side effects, such as nausea and vomiting.
The dog experiences general weakness. At the fatal stages, the dog may experience internal bleeding and lack appetite.
Hypercalcemia is not so much a threat, and the pet has a very high chance of surviving this condition. Even then, taking your dog to the vet is essential. Let the vet know the exact amount of lime your dog has eaten, and then the treatment follows.
Treatment includes fluid therapy and diuretics.
Don’t make a dog vomit after eating lawn lime; this will only cause more severe burns on the digestive system. Always aim at flushing out the calcium before it’s absorption into the bloodstreams.
Cleaning Lime off Your Dog
Our fur friends are capable of going anywhere. If your dog tumbles over a pile of lime, don’t wash them with water. Use a dry piece of cloth to wipe the fertilizer off. If it’s the hydrated fertilizer, additional moisture will result in severe skin burns.
Lime should stay away from contact with dogs at any point. Therefore, while it’s essential to keep soil acidity low, you must keep dogs off the lawn with lime.
In any case, if your dog ingests lime pellets, seek professional help, and it’s best if you can avoid making the dog vomit.
When handling lime, be careful. It causes skin burns, especially when it comes into contact with water.