Dog-Safe Lawn Care

Before you treat your lawn with weed-killer or fertilizer, remember that pets roll in your grass, nibble on it, walk on it and, afterward, lick their paws. Exposure to toxic lawn chemicals may be symptom-less until a dog develops cancer later in life. And organic doesn’t guarantee a product is safe for pets. Here’s how to keep your dog safe: 

Blood Meal if swallowed, can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and severe inflammation of the pancreas—even though it’s organic. The same is true for Feather Meal. Some formulas contain added iron, which is also hazardous to dogs.

Bone Meal may smell delicious to your dog but this ground-up bone powder can solidify in your dog’s stomach and create a heavy ball. A dog that gets into a bag of bone meal can wind up needing surgery to remove the resulting blockage.

Cocoa Mulch is the made with the hulls of the coca bean and includes the same dog-toxic chemicals found in chocolate. Dogs love the smell and are often tempted to dine on cocoa mulch, so dog owners are cautioned to avoid it. The good news: the tempting scent of cocoa mulch washes away with the first rain.

Compost earns you green points, but keep the heap of decaying food scraps away from dogs who may be sniffing around for a snack. Compost generates a toxin that can cause vomiting, fever, and seizures in dogs.

Rose and Plant Fertilizers that contain the ingredient disulfoton or other organophosphates (sometimes listed as OP on labels) are toxic to dogs.

Insecticides can irritate eyes or skin but are generally not toxic to pets. Avoid products containing organophosphates, which can be fatal in large quantities.

Weed Control Products containing the herbicide 2,4-D are hazardous to humans and animals. Steer clear. If you’re spraying weeds with a pet-safe herbicide, keep your dog away from the area until the product dries.