Could Your Pets Have Lead Poisoning?

It is surprisingly common for pets such as chickens and dogs to get lead poisoning from soil in New Zealand, thanks largely to our historic use of lead-based paint and in part due to our usage of leaded fuel and various other industrial and horticultural activities.

Lead poisoning is hard to detect and can be life-threatening. Pets frequently ingest small amounts of soil and as the amount of lead in their little bodies builds up, they get sick. Some will show signs of illness, while others will suddenly perish without warning.

Dogs love digging and chewing on buried bones and toys, and chickens constantly forage in soil. Once enough lead has been ingested for symptoms to be visible, they may already have such high amounts of lead in their system that they may not survive.

A New Zealand study published in the New Zealand Veterinary Journal, revealed mounting evidence that lead was being transferred to eggs in concentrations high enough to cause a public health concern. Ie, it was possible for humans to get lead poisoning from eating contaminated eggs. A brief outline of the findings was published in a NZ Herald news article.

A soil test can confirm what level of lead is in your soil and if it's high, you can take remedial action to keep your family and your pets healthy and safe.

If you'd like to check your soil for lead, the DIY Lead Soil Test Kit is the soil sampling kit to buy. We'll send you the IANZ accredited laboratory results plus a professional assessment from a contaminated land specialist explaining what the results mean so you can take action to ensure the safety of your family and pets.


For more information on lead poisoning, visit the Ministry of Health website.