Is Weed And Seed Safe For Dogs

Find out about pet-safe lawn care options, because we know our furry friends like to eat grass as a snack. The one-stop resource for your pet questions. How to Weed and Feed Your Lawn & Not Hurt Your Pets. Keeping your lawn weed-free and healthy improves the appearance of your home’s exterior and creates a beautiful, lush landscape. Homeowners can choose to use commercial weed killers and lawn feeders, though these can contain harsh, toxic chemicals that … Commercial herbicides can be harmful to pets that come in contact with them. Pet-safe weed control options include pulling weeds by hand, smothering, burning, and using less toxic chemicals.

Pet-Safe Weed Killer and Other Animal-Friendly Lawn Care Products

Now that the weather is warm, it’s the perfect time to tend to your lawn. Unfortunately though, many traditional lawn care products are toxic for our furry friends. How can you know which ones best for pet-safe lawn care? Here’s a list of some of our favorite pet-safe weed killers, fertilizers and more!

Organic Pet-Safe Weed Preventer

Sometimes the best offense is a strong defense. Prevent weeds before they spring up in your lawn with this great organic weed preventer. It’s made from corn gluten meal and provides long-lasting nitrogen for a thick green lawn and pet-friendly lawn care. Get it here .

Vinegar Pet-Safe Weed Killer

Okay, okay, but what if you already have weeds? What now? Time to bust out a pet-safe weed killer. This vinegar, pet-friendly lawn care product will do the trick. Snag it here .

Lawn Fertilizer

Fertilizer is commonly found on lists of toxic substances for our pets . Given that many cats and dogs spend a lot of time outside, it’s important that you find a fertilizer that’s safe for them. We like this pet-safe lawn fertilizer. It treats 5,000 square feet and is safe for kids, pets and wildlife! It’s perfect for pet-safe lawn care! Find it here .

Lawn Protection

If you have a dog, you might think that brown and yellow marks on your lawn from their pee are just a fact of life. But that isn’t so! In fact, See Spot Run pet-friendly lawn care protection makes those spots a thing of the past. While this protector can’t heal dead grass, it heals the soil underneath so healthy grass can grow back. And, of course, it’s made for pet-safe lawn care. Buy it here .

Outdoor Flea and Tick Spray

Flea and tick season is here, but it’s a good idea to guard your pets, home and yard from these critters all year round. Try this spray to help prevent an infestation. It’s made from 100% all natural ingredients. Find it here .

Indoor/Outdoor Dog Potty

Why have your dog pee on your lawn and ruin the grass when they can just use this dog potty instead? This portable alternative to puppy pads acts as an artificial lawn and will protect your grass to make pet-safe lawn care easy. Buy it here .

Pet Safe Ice Melt

Ice melt is notorious for harming small paws, but this stuff is pet-safe! Use it on your driveway or front steps when the weather gets snowy or icy. Get it here .

Lawn Care Guide

Pet-friendly lawn care newbies will love this guide. It’s filled with information like picking the right grass for your climate, choosing the right tools and how to grow and maintain an organic lawn. Snag it here .

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Black + Decker Electric Lawn Mower

Someone’s gotta mow the lawn. Might as well be you! Try this electric lawn mower on for size. It can work as a mower, trimmer and edger. Find it here .

Greenworks Electric Lawn Mower

This baby is great if you have a mid-sized plot and need a bit more power than the above option. Buy it here .

Dog Spot Repair

This spot repair fixes pee burns from your dog urinating on your lawn. This pet-safe lawn care product contains mulch, seed and soil amendment. Get it here .

How to Weed and Feed Your Lawn & Not Hurt Your Pets

Keeping your lawn weed-free and healthy improves the appearance of your home’s exterior and creates a beautiful, lush landscape. Homeowners can choose to use commercial weed killers and lawn feeders, though these can contain harsh, toxic chemicals that potentially pollute your environment and harm your pet. There are safer, organic weed-and-feed alternatives less likely to cause harm to your pet when used properly.

Corn Gluten Meal

Pour corn gluten meal in a clean fertilizer spreader. Corn gluten works as a pre-emergent weed control method so it must be applied during the spring before weeds have a chance to germinate, says Beyond Pesticides. Corn gluten is safe to use around pets and children.

Use a ratio of 20 pounds of corn gluten meal for every 1,000 square feet. Set the fertilizer spreader to an opening at about 85 to 95 percent.

Start at one end of the yard and push the spreader forward across the yard toward the opposite side in a slow, steady and straight line. Continue in this manner – similar to mowing the grass – until you have covered the entire lawn.

Aeration and Compost

Insert a core aerator 3 to 4 inches into the soil every 4 inches. Core aerators pull soil plugs out of the ground, which allows nutrients to reach the roots better and improves soil drainage.

Cover the entire lawn with 1/4- to 1/2-inch layer of organic compost. The compost helps the soil hold moisture and add nutrients as well as creating a healthy, thick lawn that deters weeds.

Mist the compost lightly with a water hose until it is damp but not soggy. Repeat the aeration and compost process at least once a year.

Grass Clippings and Organic Herbicide

Leave the grass clippings on the turf after mowing. The grass clippings decompose, adding extra nutrients and fertilizer to the soil.

Fill a spray bottle with all natural, organic herbicide such as full-strength pickling vinegar or organic commercial herbicides containing clove oil or citric acid, advises Learn2Grow.

Spot treat the emerged weeds by liberally spraying them with the organic herbicide on a warm day when the sun is at its brightest. Reapply the treatment everyday in the same manner until the weeds wilt and day.

5 Pet-Friendly Ways to Eliminate Weeds From Your Yard

Keep unwanted plants in check without harming your furry (and non-furry) family members.

Susan Appleget Hurst began sharing her extensive knowledge of growing and using herbs over 30 years ago. In addition to writing countless articles and columns for regional and national media outlets, Susan served as Senior Associate Editor of Garden and Outdoor Living at Better Homes & Gardens magazine. She also was the editor of Garden Shed magazine, Country Gardens, Growing and Using Herbs, Houseplants, and other garden titles for the Better Homes & Gardens and Southern Living families of magazines. Speaking and teaching were her first loves and Susan has conducted hundreds of classes for novice and master gardeners and assisted gardeners with their concerns on live call-in radio shows.

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Weeds are inevitable in the yard and garden. Unfortunately, many of the chemicals marketed to combat them can be harmful to the health of your pets if they are not used carefully. Even so-called environmentally friendly or natural herbicides are capable of injury if used improperly. This is especially a concern if you have a dog that likes to dig and roll in lawns and gardens. But our furry friends can pick up herbicides and other pesticides just by walking through the yard, too. Those substances get on their paws and fur, which they may then lick and get into their bodies while grooming themselves. Here’s what you need to know to keep your pets safe while dealing with weeds.

Before you waste time, effort, and money on products that don’t work or that may pose a risk to your pet, put some thought into your level of tolerance for lawn and garden weeds. On one hand, a few lawn weeds aren’t problematic; as long as you work to keep the grass healthy the weeds aren’t likely to take over. Mulching garden beds well and regularly will keep weeds from taking over ornamental plantings. Alternatively, if you have no tolerance for weeds, then you’ll need to think carefully about what methods or chemicals to use in your yard. Here are the best weed control options to consider.

1. Weeding by Hand

The most effective means for eradicating lawn and garden weeds is still removing them by hand. It can be tedious work, but it’s the best way to ensure that the root of the weed is gone, as both toxic and non-toxic weed killers might leave it behind to regenerate (dandelions have particularly long roots). There are lots of handy weeding tools on the market that help speed up the process, so if your problem is sporadic weeds popping up, this is one way to handle them without using chemicals. It’s best to think of hand-weeding as an ongoing practice and it’s most effective when begun in spring. In garden beds, weed seedlings can be eradicated by hoeing.

The other primary benefit of weeding by hand is that you can be selective; only the plants that you want to kill will be damaged. Most environmentally-friendly herbicides and weed-killing methods are not selective; they’ll kill or damage any plant they touch.

2. Smothering Weeds

Like any plant, weeds need sunlight to thrive. If you block their access to light, weeds will die. The easiest way to do this is by laying down a thick layer (3-5 inches) of organic mulch such as wood chips or pine needles. (Avoid cocoa mulch, which is toxic to dogs if eaten.) The mulch allows water and air through but keeps sunlight out; soil stays healthy but small weeds and seeds hidden under the mulch don’t survive. When you’re creating a new garden, opaque plastic sheeting, layers of cardboard, or carpet scraps can be laid over the area where you want to kill all plants. Leave the layers in place for about 6 weeks during the growing season to get the job done. Avoid tilling the soil afterward to prevent buried weed seeds from germinating.

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3. Horticultural Vinegar

Vinegar, in a concentrated form for herbicide use, can kill young, tender plants. It’s non-selective, meaning it will damage any plant it touches. Keep in mind that concentrated horticultural vinegar used as a weed killer is a strong acid so you should avoid getting it on your skin (make sure to wear garden gloves) or in your eyes or nose. Make sure the vinegar dries before your pet walks on treated areas. Read and follow label directions carefully. Horticultural vinegar works well for cracks in the sidewalk or driveway. It only damages the plant tissues that it touches, so it may require repeated applications to destroy established weeds. Although vinegar sounds like an inexpensive solution, the concentrated type that kills weeds can be as expensive as standard commercial herbicides.

4. Burning or Boiling Weeds

If occasional weeds are a problem such as those pesky sprouts that pop up between patio pavers or cracks in the driveway, they can be burned with a weeding torch or scalded with boiling water. But of course, both those options require care to prevent personal injury. They also don’t kill roots of established weeds and may have to be repeated several times over the summer.

5. Other Natural or Organic Options

There are several commercially available products that use concentrated essential oils, soaps, or other ingredients. Very few of them are selective weed killers so they’ll damage anything they touch, and they have different levels of effectiveness. Although a product may claim to be made of natural ingredients, that doesn’t mean that it won’t irritate skin, eyes, or noses. Corn gluten meal showed initial promise as a pre-emergent herbicide, but timing of application is critical and it doesn’t affect established weeds. Some products do work but take days to show results, and many require repeated applications. Read and follow label directions carefully, don’t expect instant or permanent results, and keep pets away from newly-treated areas according to the product’s instructions.

What Not to Use

Some household products suggested for killing weeds, such as salt, borax, or sugar are not only ineffective, but they can damage the soil. For example, borax will inhibit plant growth but it’s also illegal to apply it to the soil in many areas. Salt also can cause a serious imbalance in soil chemistry. Sugar attracts pests of all kinds, and might even entice your pets or wildlife to eat something they otherwise shouldn’t.

No matter what method or product (if any) you use to control yard or garden weeds, your pet will benefit from the careful thought you put into it.