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Is compost of any kind harmful if eaten by dogs?

I've tried to research this point but keep finding conflicting information.  I have taken over looking after our garden and feel the borders need top dressing over the winter to suppress the weeds and feed the soil.  But I'm concerned that anything I use may harm my dogs.  I know some composts have manure in them and sadly dogs are attracted to the smell.  Could anyone please advise how they have dealt with this issue?  I top dress my allotment beds with mushroom compost which is fantastic stuff but I'm worried that if I use it in the garden, I'll be asking for trouble with our two four-legged friends! 


  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 2,831
    Some dogs eat fresh manure (not mine thank god) but I really doubt that composted manure, or regular compost, would be attractive to them. It would not really harm them if they ate a little bit. You wouldn't want them wolfing large quantities of it but I can't see how that would happen unless your dog had really strange behavioural issues.
  • Our new puppy keeps eating soil/compost/horse manure.  The breeder said not to worry about it, with the exception of horse manure.  It contains worming chemicals, which although fine for horses, are toxic to dogs.

    We do our best to stop her eating that, but as long as they are not eating large amounts, I would not worry about it.  There are far more insidious things that they could be eating such as plastic, poo of any kind, etc.  
  • Pete.8Pete.8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 5,989
    edited 15 September
    My dog has got some strange behavioural issues... :)
    I do get manure  - either horse, farmyard or mushroom compost and my dog will investigate it an on occasion find something that suits her palette.
    I've not noticed any after effects
    She also has a nibble if I put blood, fish and bone down.... or almost anything else
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 17,068
    Pica is the medical term for eating strange substances.

    I have had both dogs and a cat that would take lumps of coal out of the coal scuttle and chew on them.

    Apparently it’s very common.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 63,302
    If it’s of any help ... I grew up on a farm ... there were manure heaps at various stages of maturity all over the place ... we always had dogs, mainly Labradors, Golden Retrievers, spaniels,  terriers and Corgis. Some of them (the labs and spaniels especially) had revolting predilections for the taste of manure ... none of them came to any harm and all lived long and healthy lives. 😊 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • tuikowhai34tuikowhai34 Béziers, Herault, FrancePosts: 480
    Having had various dogs who love to chew on a good poo - I was told to add pineapple to the feed of the dogs poo the puppies were eating.  Maybe a tin or two in the compost may deter them.
    A good hoeing is worth two waterings.

  • Our dog is still alive. I'm not sure I want her to do this, however, and have started making compost inside a closed container.
  • Thanks everyone for all your comments. I’ve decided to test a small area of flower bed and see what happens. The plan is to then extend it to cover all of the beds once the dogs are used to it.
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