is rubber mulch safe for dogs

Is Rubber Mulch Safe For Dogs? + [How To Keep Them Safe]

When making yard improvements, you may wonder, “Is rubber mulch safe for dogs?” Maintaining an aesthetically appealing landscape while securing your furry friend’s safety can be pretty daunting.  

Rubber is a safe mulching option to use for your grounds. The curious nature of dogs may lead them to eat the mulch. Although it could be harmless, it can cause digestive obstruction at times. Training and physical preventive measures keep your dog from eating mulch. Close supervision is necessary. 

Read on to find out why rubber mulch is safe for your dogs, why they may want to eat the mulch, and what you can do to stop this habit.

But…

Is Rubber Mulch Safe For Dogs? 

Yes, rubber mulch is safe for dogs. Rubber mulch is made from old recycled tires 99.9% metal-free, making it safe for pets. Quality steel-free certified rubber mulch doesn’t have small metal parts that can hurt your furry companion’s paws. 

Also, rubber mulch offers a soft, gentle base for your dogs to walk and run on. Most importantly is its ability to absorb impacts as your furry friend plays. Rubber has the highest shock absorption rate. It, therefore, helps prevent injuries if your poochie falls or tumbles. Additionally, it reduces the continuous joint impact, thus improving the long-term joint health of your pet. 

Moreover, the non-porous nature of rubber mulch makes it non-conducive for fungi and bacteria to thrive. Keeping such microorganisms away from your pups is critical for their critical growth. Also, rubber mulch suppresses weed growth, thus eliminating the need to use harmful pesticides. It protects your furry companion from ingesting toxic and potentially deadly chemicals.

Treated rubber is an excellent material for mulch due to its hypoallergenic properties. You can be sure your poochies won’t experience any sneezy or itchy episodes.

So…

Why Would My Dog Want To Eat Rubber Mulch?

To determine why your dog wants to eat rubber mulch, you first need to establish why your furry friend is interested in it. There are several reasons why your pet might want to consume mulch, such as:

  • Curiosity

Puppies typically want to taste all things they can get their mouth on. It’s how they gain an understanding of the world around them. 

  • Instinct

Dogs naturally love chewing things such as sticks and toys. Hence, it’s in their nature to want to chew on rubber. 

  • Tooth Pain

Older dogs may try to lessen tooth pain by chewing on rubber. 

  • Change

Dogs are receptive to environmental changes and often inspect items till they confirm that a particular difference isn’t a threat. Therefore, you may find them eating new rubber mulch.

  • Boredom

These adorable furry animals are usually mischievous when bored and want attention. The mischief may be eating and gnawing at the rubber mulch.

  • Stress

Often, dogs engage in harmful behaviors when they’re stressed out. Stressors may trigger them to start eating mulch. 

  • Something In The Mulch

If your dog suddenly expresses interest in mulch, check if a new animal has decided to make the mulch his new home. Also, a dead animal could arouse interest in your pet. 

  • Nutrients

Although it’s not common, your dog may eat mulch if they’re lacking some nutrients. 

  • Pica

Pica is a condition that affects human beings and dogs as well. It’s a desire to eat inedible stuff and usually points to underlying health problems. 

What Happens If My Dog Eats Rubber Mulch? 

Your dog becomes vulnerable to various health risks if it eats rubber mulch. Consult a vet if your dog consumes mulch.

Below are the risks of consuming mulch:

  • Gum Irritation

Small shredded pieces may become lodged in their gum if your dog chews rubber mulch. It can lead to discomfort, making your dog irritable and agitated. 

  • Choking

Rubber mulch has various shapes and sizes. A large piece of mulch can cause dogs to choke if they try to swallow it down. 

  • Digestion Obstruction

Suppose your dog swallows mulch; it’s likely to pass without incidence. However, the rubber may obstruct or block your pet’s digestive tract. Consequently, your dog may end up needing surgery. 

Signs of a digestion obstruction include bloating, not wanting to feed, vomiting, and being unable to pass poop. 

How Do I Keep My Dog From Eating Rubber Mulch? 

You can use several methods to keep your dog from eating rubber mulch. Nonetheless, what works for one dog may not work for another. So, try different ways to find the one that works best for your furry friend.

The following are the methods you can apply:

  • Training 

Training is the initial step to take when keeping your pet — whether a puppy or an old dog — from eating mulch. The most common command is “leave it” when it’s about stopping dogs from doing something. 

Keep an eye on your dog, and if it attempts to eat the mulch, use this command and remove the rubber from its mouth. 

Dogs are clever animals. Practice this command with other objects that aren’t mulch, and the dog will understand when you say “leave it” should drop that object. Initially, train them away from the mulch instead of using the command when eating it. 

Consistency is vital, and this ensures that any time they try to eat the rubber, they understand you disapprove of this behavior.

  • Supervision

Your presence is often enough to keep your dog engaged away from the mulch. So, it’s essential to supervise your furry friend even though it’s trained. 

  • Distraction

Give your dog toys or anything else they love to distract them from the mulch. Something as simple as playing with your furry friend when they would be busy eating mulch can help. 

  • Use Deterrents

The dog’s nose is its primary way of exploring the area. Thus, redirecting your dog’s nose interest redirects their entire interest. You can apply scented deterrents available in your local pet store. 

You can also make your deterrents at home. Use one part cayenne to ten parts water and spray the mulch. 

Other home remedies include lemon juice and vinegar. 

Dilute I part vinegar in 5 parts water. For, lemon juice, however, don’t dilute. 

Whatever choice of deterrent you pick to use, target your application in the areas that seem to attract your dogs most. 

  • Consult A Vet

If you notice that your dog likes eating inedible items, consult a vet for him to run tests to figure out if it’s pica. 

Also, if your canine friend is eating the mulch because of tooth pain, he will address the issue. 

Is Rubber Mulch Good For The Dog Potty Area?

Yes! Rubber mulch is good for the potty area as it’s easy to clean and won’t rot. It’s non-porous and therefore doesn’t absorb the pet’s urine. Moreover, it doesn’t retain odor, and thus, the offensive smell of your dog’s refuse doesn’t linger.

You can easily scoop out any poop left by your furry companions. Using a pressure nozzle to dispose of your dog’s urine and left-over traces of feces is easy and won’t cause a mess. The non-porous rubber surface is fast draining, so a quick hosing is needed to clean the dog potty area. 

Additionally, you can add a layer of gravel beneath the rubber mulch to provide natural drainage and keep the water from pooling. 

And if you’re looking for mulch for the dog poop area, we have reviewed the best mulch for dog poop area in detail.

FAQs 

How Do I Keep My Dog Out Of The Mulch? 

Place thorny branches at regular intervals in the ground to keep your dogs out of freshly mulched beds. To protect the garden bed, make a wire mesh fence. 

Is Rubber Mulch Toxic To Dogs?

Rubber mulch isn’t toxic to your dogs. You make it from old recycled tires, which pose no health hazard to your four-legged friend. 

The chemicals present in rubber mulch aren’t harmful to your pets. The Environmental Protection Agency has carried out a study on rubber mulch, and the findings are that it’s non-toxic. 

Is Dyed Rubber Mulch Safe For Dogs?

Most manufacturers nowadays use carbon black or iron oxide that is pet-safe. Nonetheless, when purchasing mulch, confirm it has a seal of approval from Mulch and Soil Council. 

Does Rubber Mulch Get Hot? 

There’s a myth that rubber playground mulch gets hot. But, the fact is that just like any other play surface cover, rubber mulch doesn’t get hot. So, it won’t get uncomfortable for your dog to walk on and play. 

Wrapping Up

What’s the conclusion of the matter, is rubber mulch safe for dogs? Rubber mulch is a safe and secure material to use when mulching your grounds and gardens. Rubber offers a soft cushioned landing to your furry friends if they tumble during play. 

Since it’s water-resistant, it remains pathogen-free, which protects dogs from nasty infections. Dogs’ curious nature may make them chew on rubber mulch. However, you can take various preventive measures to discourage them from this harmful habit.

 Installing rubber mulch for your dog creates a safe and secure environment that guarantees you and your fur baby playful and worry-free memories. 

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