Dear Porky and Buddy,
I can’t go through my woods without gallons of Roundup because they are so infested with poison ivy and I am highly allergic.
If I even look at it I seem to get it, but my dogs run around in the woods all the time. It doesn’t seem to bother them at all.
Should I be worried?
P.S. I’m just kidding about the gallons of Roundup. It’s only a few quarts.
Lucky for you we are not an environmental organization.
The truth is there is not enough Roundup in the universe to make a dent in the poison ivy that grows here so your best option is to find ways to simply avoid contact. You are not getting a poison ivy rash from looking at it.
So assuming that you are really not touching the plants, it is likely you are getting it from petting your dogs. This is ordinarily a good thing, but not if they have been rolling around in or running through poison ivy.
The culprit with poison ivy is an oily substance called urushiol which causes the rash that you get. You can get the rash only from contact with that oil, but it is highly probable that your dogs have it on their fur and you are picking it up there.
Dogs and most other animals do not seem to get the rash; some animals even eat the stuff with no ill effects.
Your options seem to be to figure out a way to keep your dogs away from the infested area as much as possible and/or to make sure that you bathe them carefully to remove the oil as much as possible when you know they have been in the woods.
Better yet, don’t leave your dogs outside alone and unsupervised. Take them for walks, play with them, sit in the shade with them.
It’s your company that they crave so you might as well take advantage of that reality and have an itch free summer.
Got the itch for a new pet? You can find the perfect summer (and winter) companion for years to come at oswegohumane.org.
The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.