We all love our pets and want them to be safe and happy, similarly, we love our homes and want our yards to be well-kept. Often times we search for alternatives to the norm like rubber mulch instead of traditional wood mulch, but this begs the question, is rubber mulch safe for dogs? We will discuss this issue further here to help with your understanding of all things rubber mulch.
What is Rubber Mulch?
Rubber mulch is a mulch that is made of, you guessed it, rubber. This mulch is not only made of rubber, it is formed to look like mulch and to mimic the color, texture, and way that traditional mulch lays when you place it in a flower bed. Rubber mulch is growing in popularity and there are now more varieties than ever before and more options if you are thinking about getting rubber mulch.
Rubber mulch, when it was first starting to break into the market, was most often made of what is referred to as crumb rubber or recycled rubber from old tires. The process was quite simple, the tire was either used and then sent for recycling or was a tire that was never used.
The steel bands that are in the tire to help it retain its shape are removed, then the tire is shredded whole to produce nuggets or chips or synthetic rubber mulch. With this option, you can still see the nylon threads that are present in the tire poking out of the pieces of rubber.
There are still plenty of companies that do use recycled tire rubber to make mulch which is a fantastic boon for the environment and does help keep those tires out of the landfill. There are other options however and companies that use new rubber to make rubber mulch. Most companies are going to use a combination of recycled rubber along with new rubber and may add things like dye and specific texture to the mulch to give it a specific color and shape overall when it is done.
Is Rubber Mulch Safe for Pets?
One of the biggest concerns for something like rubber mulch is, is rubber mulch safe for dogs, for kids, for other pets, and for your yard in general. The simple answer is, yes. Rubber mulch is made from non-toxic rubber and even those varieties that are made of recycled tires are cleaned before they are made into much and before they make their way to consumers. Rubber mulch is non-toxic, so there is no chance that your pets or your kids are going to absorb any toxins by playing in rubber mulch or in a space where rubber mulch is present.
The main issue with any mulch and your pet are making sure that they are not eating the mulch and that they are supervised at all times when playing in the mulch or in an area where the rubber mulch is present. This is a crucial point no matter what type of mulch you have, you do not want your pet eating wood mulch either as it can be dangerous for their digestive systems.
What to Do if Your Child or Pet Eats Rubber Mulch
As with any mulch, the hope is that you are going to be close by and can keep your pets and your kids from eating any of it, rubber or wood. If you are not, however, and you suspect that your child or pet has eaten rubber mulch, you should take a few moments to evaluate. A trip to the emergency room may seem like the best option but if your child or pet is showing no outward signs of distress you may not need to rush out for treatment.
Take the time to look your pet or child over, is there any evidence that they ate the mulch or is it just a hunch? If they are acting ill or acting like they may have eaten the mulch, you may want to contact their doctor and see what they suggest. In many cases, if the piece was very small it will pass naturally through the digestive system with stool.
If it is a much larger piece, it can cause stomach cramping, throat pain, it can cause upset stomach, and it can even cause blockage in the intestines that can lead to rupture of the intestines and other major issues that might then require medical attention.
If you feel that your child or pet has eaten a large piece of mulch and that they are in danger, it is always best to err on the side of caution and take them to the doctor immediately. Your doctor or vet can do an ultrasound to see if the piece is in the stomach and can then advise if they feel that the piece should be surgically removed or if they feel it will move through naturally.
Why Choose Rubber Mulch?
The most important thing to remember is that rubber mulch is going to be very durable, it will last for years to come and will not break down like wooden mulch. This means that even if you have spent more money on the rubber mulch to start with, you will save more over time by not having to buy more and more mulch as the years go on and as your wooden mulch rots and deteriorates.
Rubber mulch is also very good for playgrounds as it is not jagged or hard and does not hurt your children when they play. It can also be easy to use in terms of making your play area look great and well put together. It is better for the environment than traditional wood mulch as it helps to use up old rubber that would otherwise go to the landfill and helps to re-purpose it into something wonderful.
Mulch is a very specific thing, taking the time to learn about alternatives and to feel that you are safe using rubber mulch can certainly help you make that leap and change up your mulch game.
Best Rubber Mulch for Dogs
Below is the best rubber mulch available that is safe for dogs.
If you are looking for a mulch that will last much longer than traditional mulch you may want to look into rubber mulch. It has because very popular over the years. They are also a little safer if you have children or dogs playing in the mulch.