We are receiving an increasing number of inquiries from people concerned about various toxic hazards their dogs may encounter when out exploring - whether in their own yard or otherwise, including pesticides, poisons, and poisonous plants or animals.
The simple answer is that the Field Guard cannot protect dogs from pesticides, toxic substances, animals that secrete toxic substances (e.g., toads), poisonous plants (e.g., mushrooms) or exposure to any of these.
In some cases, the Field Guard may provide a barrier to dogs trying to ingest something - like meat coated with a liquid or granular formulation pesticide or treated pellets (e.g. rodenticides) in a bait station. But, although your dog may not ingest the physical carrier of the poison, some poison may be ingested or inhaled through the mesh material of our product.
As such, the Field Guard should never be viewed as a tool for preventing pesticide or poison exposure from occurring.
The wearing of a Field Guard will also not protect a dog once they have gotten too close to a pesticide or poison, or especially, come into contact through the mesh material of the field guard.
These warnings are being issued with your dog’s safety very much in mind, and because we know just how devastating it can be for people when any sort of harm befalls their dog. We wish to be really clear that pesticide exposure prevention is NOT:
1) a hazard which the product was designed to counter against
2) a risk which the product can protect a dog from, given the inherent nature of the risk
Instead - awareness, vigilance and prevention are going to be your best defense against pesticide exposure and for protecting your dog from any ensuing repercussions.
Remember, putting a Field Guard on your dog does NOT mean you can let your guard down!
Be aware that both you and your dog may encounter pesticides and other toxic substances while out exploring, and be accordingly cautious. For example, sometimes you will see posted signs or public notices about any baiting campaigns in your area, which would advise to avoid those areas during such campaigns. If this isn’t possible, you might consider walking on a leash rather than letting them roam free. And remember there could be such hazards within your own property as well.
If you are in an agricultural area, various pesticides may be applied at different parts of the season. These could be insecticide sprays, for example, to which you could be aerially exposed, through drift. Anticoagulant rodenticides and zinc phosphide rodenticide products may also be used.
Examples of pesticides to which your dog can be exposed while out on walks and hikes include, but are not limited to:
- Carbamate insecticides
• Organophosphate insecticides
• Pyrethroid pesticides
• Alkaloid pesticides (strychnine)
• Anticoagulant rodenticides
• Zinc phosphide rodenticide products
• Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) rodenticide products
• Cyanide products
As a side note, your dog might also be exposed to the following, if they happen to scavenge on livestock carcasses, gut piles left by hunters, or downed animals:
- Euthanasia drug residues, or other veterinary drug residues
• Lead shot
• Heavy metals
To learn more (in the United States):
The National Pesticide Information Center has a repository of information about these pesticides.
If you think your dog has ingested a poison, call the ASPCA Poison Hotline.