Why Do Dogs Eat Compost

Composting is more popular than ever these days. We are aware of how beneficial composting food waste is for the environment and how it contributes to the creation of rich soil for our crops. The fact that compost may be extremely hazardous to dogs and other animals is something that many people are unaware of. To prevent this, only plant-based food scraps—no meat or dairy—should be disposed of in a safe compost bin or fenced-in compost area. Dogs are very drawn to compost and frequently don’t think twice about eating any. Due to the fungus that develop in the rotting plant or food stuff, compost and damaged waste are extremely hazardous to dogs. These fungus create mycotoxins that cause tremors. The terms “mycotoxin” and “tremorgenic” both refer to deadly fungi (mold).

Poisoning can result from even a modest amount of compost consumption. It could take a dog anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours to exhibit symptoms. Agitation, elevated temperature, vomiting, panting, drooling, difficulty walking, and seizures are some typical symptoms in addition to tremors.

It is crucial to call your veterinarian right once if compost consumption is known or suspected. Compost poisoning has no known treatment or cure, however prompt supportive medical care will increase your dog’s chances of making a full recovery.

The veterinarian may give IV fluids to remove the poison from the system, activated charcoal to bind to the toxins, and muscle relaxants or seizure drugs to control the tremors or convulsions. To control its temperature, the dog might also need to be chilled. With prompt medical attention, the majority of dogs will recover in 24 to 48 hours; however, subsequent consequences can be severe or even deadly.

Although cats are less prone to consume compost, it is nonetheless extremely harmful to cats. Even if you don’t compost your food scraps, you should still be cautious of potential toxicity from rubbish ingestion, eating moldy food, or your dog getting lost and finding compost nearby.

Cannabis is unrelated to compost but extremely harmful to dogs. Since marijuana usage has been made legal, the veterinary community has grown increasingly concerned about the drug, which people may use recreationally or for medical reasons. Tetrahydrocannabinol is one of the cannabinoids found in marijuana (Cannabis) (THC). Dogs are more likely than people to be poisoned by swallowing even small amounts of THC because they have much more cannabinoid receptors in their bodies and brains than do humans. Ingestion is the most typical way that THC toxicity occurs. Dogs are inclined to consume THC-infused consumables like gummies or brownies. Similar to in humans, the THC must first undergo a process known as decarboxylation in which it is heated or cooked at high temperatures in order to be activated before it can bind to receptors in the body and brain. THC poisoning can cause a variety of symptoms, but some of the more typical ones are sedation or agitation, difficulties moving about, vomiting, dribbling urine, changes in body temperature, tremors, and seizures. Depending on how much was consumed and the size of the dog, symptoms could appear anywhere between 5 minutes and 12 hours later.

There is no cure for compost poisoning, either. Providing supportive care. Similarly to compost, THC is hazardous to cats, but they are less prone to consume it. There is also the extra worry of chocolate poisoning when dogs consume brownies or other chocolates containing THC. So that the finest care can be given, it is crucial to give your veterinarian as much information about your pet’s past as you can.

Keeping people from accessing both compost and marijuana is essential. All compost should be securely contained or fenced, and all edible marijuana and THC products should be kept out of reach of all animals. Call your veterinarian right once if you believe or know there has been ingestion. A full recovery requires patience and prompt supportive treatment.

Can dogs eat garden compost?

We all know that dogs will eat anything and that most of the time they only get a stomach pain when something doesn’t agree with them. But trust us when we say that one thing you definitely do not want your dog eating is compost.

Dogs are poisoned by compost, which can make them very unwell or even kill them. Compost decomposes and releases mycotoxins, which are extremely poisonous if consumed. Keep your compost pile fenced and out of reach for your dog since mycotoxin poisoning can result in serious sickness or even death.

Learn why compost is harmful to dogs, what the signs of compost poisoning are, and what to do if your dog eats compost. Then, in order to safeguard your dog, we’ll discuss safe composting and best practices for spreading compost.

How can pets be kept out of compost?

The Department of Fish and Wildlife in Washington State advises against adding any food scraps to open compost piles, but if you must, they should be buried beneath at least eight inches of soil and covered with a wire mesh barrier that is secured with one or more heavy objects.

Another technique to stop meddling with your priceless organic soil-to-be is to place your compost pile in a pest-proof container.

Compost tumblers are well-liked because they mix and aerate by simply being sometimes spun, and they deter intruders like raccoons, rats, dogs, and other animals. Otherwise, wire-topped or sealed-lid compost bins function just as well but take a little more work when it comes to stirring.

Another choice would be to use a worm bin inside to create the compost. Similar to a larger outside compost pile, you may still add food trash there without worrying about luring animals.

Do animals find compost to be attractive?

All kinds of creatures, from foxes to skunks, badgers to javelina, and raccoons to coyotes, will appreciate the inclusion of a compost pile. Skunks have even been observed visiting piles!

Avoid putting items like fish, meat, bones, grease, oil, and dairy products in the compost bin to deter wild animals.

While raccoons and other wild creatures can smell these meals from a mile away, people may not be able to detect their aroma.

What occurs if a dog consumes compost?

The majority of pet owners are aware that raisins, grapes, and chocolate are poisonous to our canine pals. The foods avocados, garlic, and onions are among those that may be harmful. But most dog owners are unaware that compost is one of the world’s most harmful and toxic substances.

While composting used food waste is a fantastic way to reduce waste and turn trash into something new and helpful, it is crucial that you compost your waste materials properly. Your compost container should be enclosed and well shut to ensure that pets and wildlife cannot access it. Dairy and meat products should never be composted.

Compost is particularly hazardous because the organic matter that is degrading may contain fungus that create tremorgenic mycotoxins, which are neurotoxins. It’s also crucial to remember that tremorgenic mycotoxins are not limited to compost bins and can be found in other sources of moldy food, such as the trash. Acute compost toxicity symptoms often appear 30 minutes to 3 hours after the initial consumption. Agitation, hyperthermia (increased temperature), vomiting, panting, drooling, tremors, and seizures are a few of these signs. Early identification and treatment are essential since consuming even a tiny amount of compost containing tremorgenic mycotoxins can be fatal. This specific poison has no known treatment, so your dog’s greatest chance of surviving is to start supportive care as soon as possible. Induced vomiting, the administration of activated charcoal to bind to any toxins still present in the body, IV fluids to flush toxins from the bloodstream, alcohol or cold water baths to lower body temperature, and the administration of various IV medications to control spasms or seizures can all be included in this treatment.

With prompt treatment, the majority of dogs with compost poisoning recover in 24–48 hours, but some dogs won’t. In addition to secondary concerns like clotting issues and aspiration pneumonia, tremors and seizures may linger for several days. These additional issues frequently result in death.

It is critical that you call your veterinarian right away if you see any of these symptoms in your pet, especially if they have been left unattended or it’s conceivable they have gotten into compost or rubbish. The best chance for a full recovery for your pet is an immediate diagnosis and treatment.

Why is my dog consuming plant pot soil?

It’s not always easy to own a dog. Dogs bring us so much joy, yet some of their habits and mannerisms may drive you insane. I would categorize a dog that digs up dirt in your yard or eats soil out of pots and plants in that category.

The tendency to eat dirt is more common in dogs who are food-obsessed than anywhere else. This characteristic is not only widespread, but it is almost always found in well-known dog breeds including Labradors, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds.

But why do dogs consume dirt while they are outside in yards and gardens or from plants? I’ve looked into the implications of eating dirt for you and will also explain what it means that your dog is deficient in.

Dogs eat dirt because why? Dogs will consume dirt from indoor plants, soil from pots, or dirt from the ground for a variety of reasons, including boredom, stress, smelling lovely things in the dirt, malnutrition, or medical conditions like pica.

The quick answer is yes, but there is much more to it, such as whether or not your dog may get sick from eating dirt and how you might figure out why someone would eat soil.

What can I feed my dog to stop giving him mud to eat?

You may have observed your dog eating (or attempting to eat) some incredibly strange things as a pet owner. But have you ever caught your dog munching on pure dirt?

Dr. Laurie S. Coger, DVM, a holistic veterinarian, adds that “dirt eating is a form of what is known as “pica,” or the consumption of nonfood items. Numerous factors contribute to it, including dietary, behavioral, and physical factors. In addition to stress and boredom, eating anything and everything is a risk factor for obesity.

You shouldn’t ignore your dog’s persistent dirt-eating behavior because it can indicate a more serious problem, such as:

  • Anemia (low red blood cell count)
  • nutritional deficits or imbalances, particularly with regard to minerals
  • unhealthy food
  • uneasy stomach
  • disruption of the digestive system

Dogs are more prone to seek for grass in these situations, according to Dr. Coger, even though stomach and gastrointestinal problems may be to blame for your dog’s interest in dirt. “It’s time to visit the vet, she advises, if [the dirt eating] occurs frequently, is intense or manic in nature, or involves considerable amounts of consumption. “Another indication that a vet visit is necessary would be changes in stool. In order to identify the cause, blood tests to check for underlying abnormalities may be beneficial.

The Dangers of Dirt

As you may anticipate, allowing your dog to continuously eat dirt carries some risks. The primary one is intestinal impaction if your dog eats a lot at once. Injuries frequently require surgery.” Dr. Coger adds that if enough dirt was consumed, the pesticides, fertilizers, or other poisons present in the dirt may accumulate to dangerous levels. “Dental deterioration or wear may be a problem as well, depending on the filth. For instance, if the dirt contains rocks, it may harm your dog’s teeth and obstruct the esophagus or any other part of the digestive tract. The lining of your dog’s mouth, throat, gut, or stomach could be pierced by sharp objects. Additionally, your dog can absorb a parasite along with the dirt, which could result in a variety of other health problems.

Dr. Coger believes that any new, unusual behavior—like eating dirt—should be addressed right away.

Before it develops into a habit, as well as because there may be serious underlying problems. Canines will pick up housekeeping skills from other dogs, and who wants a house full of slobs?

Preventing Dirt Eating in Dogs

Consult your veterinarian about your dog’s diet to see if any modifications need to be made if you’re concerned that your dog’s tendency to eat dirt is the result of a nutritional imbalance. Make sure your dog gets enough mental and physical exercise to prevent dirt eating, which results from boredom, on the behavior front. If all else fails, restricting access to preferred dirt-eating sites might be necessary, according to Dr. Coger. Never dismiss dirt eating because it can be an indication of something greater.


Not all dog foods are made the same. Some diets don’t have all the nutrients a dog needs to maintain good health.

Dogs of any age may consume dirt to supplement nutritional shortages and absorb minerals like sodium, iron, and calcium from the soil. Due to hunger and nutritional inadequacies, underfed dogs may also eat dirt and other items.

When choosing a high-quality dog food, make sure it complies with the nutritional recommendations set forth by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) and is produced by a sizable, seasoned, and recognized company. Brands like Purina, Hill’s Science Diet, and Royal Canin all adhere to WSAVA standards.


If they don’t get enough enrichment or exercise, dogs might become bored and some will eat dirt to pass the time.

Stress from being separated from their pet parents might cause dogs with separation anxiety to eat dirt. Any age might lead to anxiety in dogs.


Low red blood cell count is the term used to describe this illness. Numerous conditions, including hookworms, flea infestation, tick disease, cancer, immune-mediated diseases, and bleeding disorders, can result in anemia.

Puppies are more likely to have hookworms than adult dogs since they normally acquire these parasites through their mother’s milk when feeding. However, if they are not taking heartworm medication, dogs of any age can acquire hookworms from the environment.

All dogs are susceptible to fleas and ticks, which are parasites that feed on blood and can result in severe anemia. All year long, keep your dog on a reliable flea/tick preventative like Simparica, NexGard, or Bravecto.

Due to internal bleeding from specific kinds of malignant tumours, adult and elderly dogs are more likely to get severe anemia. Anemia in dogs of any age can also be brought on by extremely uncommon immune-mediated illnesses and bleeding disorders. Any anemia can make a dog eat dirt if it is severe enough.

Portosystemic (Liver) Shunt

An faulty blood artery called a shunt allows blood to flow around the liver of a dog. As a result, the liver does not operate correctly because it does not receive enough blood. Shunts are uncommon but can occur congenitally in puppies, adults, or geriatric dogs.