Snail and slug baits are among the ways to keep these invertebrate pests from ruining your gardening work, but they can pose a potential threat to your pets. The molasses and other ingredients in this poison make it attractive to dogs; ingesting even a small amount can be extremely dangerous.
The active ingredient commonly used in snail bait is metaldehyde, an extremely toxic chemical. When ingested, it can cause neurological symptoms such as a lack of coordination and drooling. Your dog’s heart rate may increase, as well as his temperature, and he may suffer a seizure. If left untreated, exposure can be fatal to your companion.
To keep your dog safe from metaldehyde snail bait, restrict his access to any area where you use the poison, for at least two weeks after application. That should allow the substance to wash into the soil and decay, rendering it safe. If you suspect your dog has ingested snail bait, you should call your veterinarian immediately and follow instructions for emergency care.
Milton Kazmeyer has worked in the insurance, financial and manufacturing fields and also served as a federal contractor. He began his writing career in 2007 and now works full-time as a writer and transcriptionist. His primary fields of expertise include computers, astronomy, alternative energy sources and the environment.