No, snail pellets are not safe for dogs, so you don’t really have to keep reading here. You can go back to playing Candy Crush or sharing pictures of your grand-sprog or whatever else you like to do online.
Oh, you want more information?
Fine. I do it all for you. And your dogs. So let’s talk about snail pellets, why they are not safe for dogs, and what you can do to keep your garden beautiful in the absence of those snail pellets that are not safe for dogs.
What are Snail Pellets Made Of?
The main ingredient in snail pellets that make them not safe for dogs is metaldehyde. It’s a very common poison, not just in snail pellets, but in other pesticides. This time of year, snail pellets are very commonly used.
I Love Spring and Summer!
Well, who doesn’t? It’s warm, things are growing flowers are bursting into bloom, and if you have a vegetable garden, it doesn’t take much time for things like lettuce and spinach to sprout up. You can enjoy a whole summer of wonderful salads with just a few seeds.
At least until the snails invade.
Snails love your garden as much as you do, and they can cause a lot of damage. Slugs can also be a big problem. So, all across the country, gardeners use things like snail pellets that, although not safe for dogs, will kill common pests. It’s a trade-off – the potential danger to your dogs versus the likelihood of a good harvest.
Why Would a Dog Want to Eat Snail Bait?
Because dogs are perverse, and want to eat all kinds of things that are likely to get them killed (see Help, My Dog Ate a Battery!)
Okay, I’m kidding. But the fact is, dogs are often attracted to things that just aren’t good for them. So are snails – some of the most common ingredients in snail pellets are bran, apple and molasses. Snails love these ingredients, and so do dogs. That’s why manufacturers of snail bait hid poison inside these snail pellets which are not safe for dogs, or for that matter, for most other animals. Snail bait is pretty desirable from the angle of what tastes good, and that’s why you should keep it away from your dog.
How Much is Too Much?
ANY amount is too much! Metaldehyde is so lethal that even a very small amount can kill your dog. It actually takes less than a teaspoon for each pound of body weight to send your dog on a quick road to the big dirt sleep.
What are the Symptoms?
If your dog eats snail bait, you’ll know pretty quickly. Usually, the dog will appear anxious and begin to twitch a bit. Then, the twitching will get worse, and the dog will develop full-blown seizures. It’s important to recognize the signs early on, because when it gets to the point where you’re dealing with major seizures, it’s probably already too late to save your dog.
When it comes to metaldehyde poisoning, the only good news is that it’s easily identified. In the summer, most veterinarians report that they have to treat at least one case of metaldehyde poisoning due to snail bait in any given week. They’ve seen it before, too many times.
If youre planning on using snail bate in your garden, keep in mind that snail bait is never safe for dogs, and there is no antidote. The best that your veterinarian can do is induce vomiting, give your dog intravenous fluid and medication to control the seizures, and hope for the best.
Don’t Take Chances
At this point in my post, you should know that using snail bait in your garden is not a good idea if you have dogs. Metaldehyde is deadly to snails, and snail pellets are not safe for dogs. Your dog isn’t necessarily going to die if he encounters metaldehyde, but he will have to be treated right away. If he isn’t, then he’ll probably die within four hours at worst, and twelve at best.
But You Love Your Garden!
I know; I love my garden too. But I love my dogs more, and for that reason, I don’t use snail pellets. They’re not safe for dogs, and if Janice or Leroy got into snail bait and died, I’d never forgive myself.
So, I go ith other methods. One thing that I’ve found useful is putting out shallow dishes filled with beer in the garden. Snails and slugs seem to like beer as much as I do, and they crawl into the dishes and die.
If you garden in containers, you can use copper barrier tape around the pot rims – it gives off a bit of an electrical charge that deters snails and slugs.
If you want to fight fire with fire, there’s a type of snail that you can buy. Decollate snails aren’t harmful to dogs or other pets – just to other snails. They hide in leaf mulch during the day, and then at night, they come out and eat smaller snails, and their eggs as well. They can live for a couple of years and they’ll also lay eggs from time to time, but not too many eggs. So, you won’t have to worry about over-population, but you’ll always have enough Decollate snails to protect against other, more invasive species.
You could also buy snail traps to keep down the population of undesirables.
Prevention is Better Than Cure
If you’re worried about snail pellets being safe for dogs, just don’t use them – prevention is always better than a cure, and dogs can easily track snail bait in on their paws and then lick it off. It only takes a bit of snail bait to make a dog very ill, so just don’t take the chance.
The Final Word
Snail pellets are not safe for dogs. Use it at your peril, and if you think your dog has eaten snail bait, get in touch with your veterinarian immediately. If your dog has ingested snail bait, he could die in very little time.
I love my garden, but I don’t use snail pellets, because they are not safe for dogs. I hope that you won’t use them either.