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I called a pet poison helpline and was told she likely suffered from chemical exposure and to seek veterinary care. Since that time, Ive been on a mission to inform other pet parents about the toxicity of certain weed killers and why pet-friendly products should be used in their place.
Integrative veterinarian Dr. Laurie Coger worries about glyphosate (a common herbicide) in weed killers. Exposure to weed killers, specifically glyphosate, is one of the most overlooked toxins by most dog parents, she advises. In fact, a 6-year study conducted by Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine found that the use of lawn chemicals increased a dogs chance of developing cancer by up to 70 percent.
While homeowners may want to keep their lawns looking weed-free during the spring and summer months, using the wrong products to kill weeds could cause harm to four-legged family members. Pixavril / Shutterstock.com Roundup is a popular weed killer and lawn treatment, but its main ingredient is isopropylamine salt of glyphosate. In 2019, a California couple won a $2 billion dollar lawsuit after they developed cancer linked to the use of Roundup weed killer.
Dogs like to roll on grass, many cats go for walks on a leash and their paws encounter grassy lawns, and pets often lick their feet or fur while they are lounging around the house. According to the National Pesticide Information Center , pets that come in contact with wet glyphosate products may drool, have gastric upset, lose their appetites, or become sleepynone of which are noted on the Roundup labeling or website. If you do choose to use Roundup as your weed–killer of choice, its important to keep your dog away from the treated area and talk to your veterinarian if you have concerns.
Despite the label that touts a product as pet–safe and pet-friendly or perhaps natural or organic, pet parents should carefully read the ingredient list. Corn gluten meal and vinegar are all-natural products that are generally safe for dogs and cats. Things like 2,4-D (trimec), sethoxydim, carbon tetrachloride, and chloroform are all ingredients to avoid in a weed killer for pet households.
Look at labels and do some research to verify any governing bodies or organizations that certify weed killers safe for dogs and cats. I looked at reviews, talked to an integrative veterinarian, talked to one of my best friends who has a green thumb to match her green pet-friendly lawn, and looked for a wide array of purported pet-friendly lawn products to kill weeds while keeping dogs and cats safe. We also wanted to make sure that the pet-friendly weed killers on this list were easy to buy online and were effective without the need for a professional lawn-care service.
If you plan to allow your dog or cat to roam around the yard and enjoy the great outdoors, one of these pet–safe weed killer products should be part of our lawn-care regimen. The Green Gobbler formula is 30 percent stronger than traditional table vinegar and is safe to use right out of the container. I love the removable trigger spray and the fact that it works almost immediately without bothering my dogs paws or causing irritation.
The fact that it is environmentally and pet safe and works like a charm without toxic chemicals puts Green Gobbler high atop our list. I have a small yard and patio area with a deck and wanted to get rid of some weeds earlier this summer. There is no mixing, no drifting (dont spray on a windy day), and its best to use in warmer weather so the weeds are gone quicker.
Sample Buyer Review : Keeps the weeds under control and saves time and effort with a quick spray. My neighbor says shes noticed her lawn to be a lot greener and that could be because the corn gluten meal works as a fertilizer, too. Do not confuse this product with Preens Grass and Weed Killer, which does contain glyphosate and is not safe for pets.
Because we recently added a patio to our backyard, I was able to test these products on a large area of grass before the contractors got to work. I love that this product is safe on grass for my dog to lay on, roll on, and walk on but effective in killing and repelling ticks and fleas while eliminating weeds! This is the first pet-friendly weed killing product I encountered that combines organic white vinegar with Himalayan rock salt.
In addition to weeds, it can kill moss, clover, and poison ivy and is 100 percent biodegradable and environmentally friendly.
Is there a weed killer safe for pets?
Glyphosate is a widely available chemical weed killer and is described as safe for pets to use treated areas once the chemical is completely dry. … Glyphosate kills both annual and perennial weeds, but you will need to reapply every four months to a year, to keep on top of weed growth.
How do you kill weeds without harming pets?
Pull Weeds Up by Hand..Install Landscape Fabric to Prevent Weed Growth..Use Pure White Vinegar..Apply a Bit of Salt..Baking Soda..Mulch..Salt Water.
Is Green Gobbler vinegar weed killer safe for pets?
It is safe to use around your pets and family. A perfect way to ensure your pets and other animals in your neighborhood can run free and play around in the grass without being exposed to dangerous chemical fumes and sprays!
Is image weed killer safe for dogs?
Do not apply this product in a way that will contact any person or pet, either directly or through drift. Keep people and pets out of the area during application. Do not allow people or pets to enter the treated area until sprays have dried.
Some choose to save the best for last, but were going to cut right to the chase. It can be hard to find a pet-friendly weed killer that is also effective especially in the long-term.
Theyre so confident in their product that they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee if you arent completely satisfied, and customers give it high marks in reviews. While it is highly acidic while its wet, Green Gobbler is perfectly safe for pets (and humans) to touch once it is dry.
At the Root : Green Gobbler earns the title of Best Overall Pick with its 20% vinegar and ethanol-based formula, combined with its rave reviews from customers. They list vinegar, citric acid, sodium chloride, glycerin, clove oil, and lemon juice as the ingredients for their spray no harsh chemicals to be found. It works extremely fast to eliminate weeds at the root, and many customers reported positive results within 24 hours of application.
The price point is a tad higher for one gallon, presumably to account for the portion donated to animal shelters from each sale. At the Root : Just for Pets Weed Killer earned the Best for Charitable Causes title because they donate a portion of every purchase to animal shelter nationwide. Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed & Grass Killer receives high ratings with lots of great reviews.
At the Root : Doctor Kirchners Natural Weed & Grass Killer receives high marks from customers and has an extremely long shelf life for use in the future. While this formula is not officially certified for organic use, it is made with natural ingredients that are completely safe for pets once dry. The formula is derived from vinegar, with sodium chloride listed as the main active ingredient, and there are no harmful herbicides or toxic chemicals in the solution.
Some customers say they were pleased with the results, but had to apply the solution a couple of times since the roots of the weeds were harder to kill. Maybe youre tired of killing weeds whenever they pop up and would rather take steps early in the growing season to prevent them from happening in the first place. Not only does this ingredient prevent weed roots from ever taking hold, but it also feeds your grass and provides extra nitrogen for a greener, thicker lawn.
And since corn gluten meal is a natural ingredient, your pets can run and play on the lawn right after you apply Epsoma Weed Preventer. Epsoma also receives high ratings from customers, and you only have to apply it twice per year other weed preventers require application every four to six weeks.
But weeds represent a serious foe in the battle for a beautiful lawn. So, a lot of homeowners end up strolling down the lawn-care aisle at their local big-box retailer to pick up a spray or powder designed to kill weeds.
Well explain how they work, discuss some of the dangers they may present, and identify a few that are unlikely to harm your pet in any way, shape, or form. And unlike some other weed killers, which do not provide a full list of ingredients, Dr. Kirchner Natural Weed Killer lists all four ingredients used: Sodium chloride (salt), water, vinegar, and soap.
Primary weed-killing ingredient is sodium chloride (salt) Non-selective weed killer, so spray with discretion Offered in several sizes, ranging from 1 quart to a whopping 640 ounces Made in the USA Pros Received lots of positive reviews including from dog owners Many users were surprised that it killed weeds in a matter of hours Contains only four pet–safe active ingredients An all-natural, budget-friendly, pet–safe weed killer made with 30% vinegar About : Natural Armor 30% Home & Garden Vinegar is an all-natural, glyphosate-free weed killer that can also be used for a variety of other purposes, such as cleaning brick walkways, reducing soil pH, and polishing chrome.
Made with super-concentrated vinegar Doubles as a strong deodorizer, making it perfect for outdoor kennel areas Spray option allows for easy application Comes with a 100% money-back guarantee Pros Contains only a single, pet–safe active ingredient Very effective at killing weeds Can be used in a variety of different applications Cons Some users complained that repeated applications were necessary to kill weed roots Spray-nozzle malfunctions were somewhat common
Concentrated vinegar is the active ingredient Glyphosate-free formula Biodegradable and certified for organic use Easy-to-use spray design with nozzle included A pet–safe weed killer made with vinegar and added citrus extracts to give it a pleasant smell. The inclusion of citrus ingredients is noteworthy, as they help to give the product a relatively pleasant smell, unlike the strong vinegar odor associated with many other options.
Active ingredients are sodium chloride, citric acid, and clove oil Requires no mixing prior to use Fast-acting formula starts working within hours Backed by a 100% money-back guarantee Pros Effective on a broad array of weeds and plants Has a subtle citrus-like smell Backed by a money-back guarantee About : Preen Weed Preventer is a 100% natural lawn and garden product made from a single, pet–safe ingredient: corn gluten meal.
Note that this isnt a weed–killer in the conventional sense of the term; instead, it is a pre-emergent herbicide, which will prevent weed seeds from growing. Blocks weed growth using corn gluten meal Doubles as a fertilizer Safe for use around plants that are at least 2 to 3 inches tall Made with 60% protein (40% more than competitors) Cons Pricey Proper use is critical to achieve the desired results Wont work on existing weeds
This is a selling point for some owners, but just be careful using it around plants you dont want to kill. Effective against broadleaf weeds, clover, dandelions, and more Not intended for lawn usage (it will kill grass) Works within 24 hours of application Made in the USA Pros Very highly rated by consumers The no-mix formula is very convenient This is one of the more affordable pet-friendly weed killers out there
Cons Some owners found it wasnt effective against all weeds or plants Not all size options come with spray nozzles, so order with care A pet–safe weed killer featuring salt, vinegar, and clove oil that produces fast results. Eco-friendly, glyphosate-free formula Kills weeds within 24 hours Fast-drying recipe for worry-free application Comes with a 30-day manufacturers money-back guarantee
Pros Most owners report that its fast-acting and effective A relatively affordable pet–safe weed killer Formula is simple to apply, with no need for mixing Cons Some users found the smell to be rather intense Its a broad-spectrum weed killer, so use caution around vegetation you dont want to eliminate This makes the product the best option for owners who dont want to take any chances with their canine.
Active ingredients include vinegar, salt, clove oil, and more Quick-drying formula Per the manufacturer, its effective against 250+ types of weeds Comes with a 100 percent money-back guarantee Pros A great option for owners who prioritize safety above all other considerations Ready to use just spray and go! Cons Use caution around lawns, as this will kill nearby grass Some owners had problems with the included sprayer
About : Energen Carolina LLCs Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer is a non-selective plant eliminator that works great against clover, ground ivy, crabgrass, and more. As an added bonus, this pet–safe weed killer is approved for organic use , and it can be sprayed around crops up to two days before harvest. Approved for use around organic crops Concentrated formula powers through stubborn weeds and unwanted grass Available in 1-quart and 1-gallon sizes Super-concentrated vinegar solution
Pros Its effective but strong, so use caution around desirable plants The smell isnt as offensive as other options Reviews praise this formula for being fast-acting and quick-drying Cons T he container doesnt list the inactive ingredients There arent as many reviews for this product as some other options About : ECO Garden Pro is a phosphate-free formula that uses salt and vinegar to kill weeds without harming people or animals.
Eco-friendly solution thats 100% biodegradable Effective against clover, dandelions, moss, and more Non-selective formula Made in the USA Pros It works great, even on tall weeds Pre-mixed solution is ready to pour into a spray bottle The organic nature gets a thumbs up from gardeners Cons Some owners report that repeat applications were needed Since this is a non-selective mixture, use caution around plants and grass youd like to keep No sprayer is included
There are a variety of different weed killers on the market,
and a lot of them use different active ingredients and work in different ways. Glyphosate (the primary active ingredient in Roundup) is one of the most commonly used weed killers in the world. It is effective on plants that have already started growing, and it is usually produced in liquid form, which you can spray in the desired area.
Many backyard gardeners, municipalities, and landscaping professionals use glyphosate, but it is the agricultural industry that consumes the bulk of that which is produced. After all, you may hate the dandelions growing on your lawn, but weeds represent lost money to farmers, as they compete with the crops being grown. In fact, Monsanto the company that manufactures Roundup (as well as a variety of other products) sells seeds for crops that have been genetically modified so that they tolerate glyphosate.
Unlike glyphosate, 2,4-D targets dicots (broad-leaved plants, including most weeds), while allowing monocots (like grasses) to live. Sethoxydim has the opposite effect of 2,4-D instead of killing broad-leafed plants, it targets monocots (primarily grasses). On the one hand, these things are used so much that thered probably be an epidemic of sick and dying dogs if they were as How Stuff Works puts it violently toxic.
It is also important to note that dogs do appear to absorb many common herbicides even when their owners dont use the products themselves. For example, 2,4,5-Trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T) was used until the 1970s, when scientists discovered that while the active ingredient was moderately safe, the specifics of the manufacturing process resulted in a final product that was quite toxic. But ultimately, 2,3,5-T and most other potentially dangerous
herbicides including borax, sodium arsenite, and arsenic trioxide have been
weeded out (sorry I couldnt resist) over time.
Scientists have collected quite a bit of data about glyphosate (aka Roundup) over the last few decades. Glyphosate essentially works by destroying EPSP synthase an enzyme that most plants need to survive. Theoretically, this means that it shouldnt have much of an effect on dogs , as animals dont produce EPSP synthase at all.
But glyphosate isnt the only thing in Roundup it also contains a variety of purportedly inert ingredients. The researchers did, in fact, find that weed killers inert ingredients (as well as the composite formulation) were problematic, regardless of whether or not glyphosate was dangerous. On the flip side, there are studies demonstrating that glyphosate is unlikely to cause harm in practice.
For example, a 2008 study examining the effects of glyphosate on woodland mammals and amphibians concluded that: there seems to be a large margin of safety between dosages encountered and those causing either death or limitation of movement, foraging or shelter. Because 2,4-D is primarily designed to affect the way plants
grow, it is thought to be fairly safe for humans when properly used and applied. Nevertheless, as explained by the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC), People who drank products containing 2,4-D vomited, had diarrhea, headaches, and were confused or aggressive.
Skin contact in humans often results in irritation , and people who breathe in the fumes can experience coughing, burning sensations, and dizziness. According to the NPIC, Dogs and cats that ate or drank
products with 2,4-D in them developed vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite,
lethargy, drooling, staggering, or convulsions. It isnt clear whether your pet can get enough 2,4-D by licking sprayed grass to cause these problems or not, but its probably not something that most dog owners want to find out firsthand.
Additionally, it is important to note that 2,4-D appears to remain on the plant surfaces longer (up to 3 days) than most other common herbicides. While it probably shouldnt be considered completely safe, sethoxydim appears less toxic than many of the other commonly used herbicides. Using more of the product than is recommended usually wont provide better results, and it may increase the risks to your dogs safety.
Keep your dog inside while youre applying weed killers (or lawn chemicals of any kind). Strong winds can blow weed killers into areas you didnt intend on treating. This can end up killing plants you wanted to keep, and it may even contaminate your dogs house or preferred play area too.
Dont allow your dog to play in the yard for about 24 hours following application . Most products will explain how long you need to keep kids and pets away from the treated area, so just heed the advice provided. Youll obviously still need to let your pupper answer natures call, but just take him to a local park or friendly neighbors yard (just be sure to clean up after your pet).
But, itll also kill grass and other desirable plants, so it wont work for waging war on the dandelions growing in the middle of your yard. It will, however, work pretty well for killing stuff growing between the cracks on your driveway or similar scenarios. Just fill a big pot with water, heat it until its boiling and then carry it outside and dump it on the weeds you want to take out.
For goodness sake, be careful though boiling water is a great example of a natural chemical which is undoubtedly dangerous. You can simply buy vinegar, pour it in a spray bottle, and start raining non-toxic death on your weeds. You obviously dont want your dog to eat a mouthful of salt, as this can be quite dangerous, but if you apply it in a sensible fashion, it shouldnt present any problems.
The best way to apply salt is by mixing it with some water and then spraying down the weeds you want to kill. If you do so regularly and stay on top of
things, it can be pretty effective, and it wont represent any type of danger
for your pooch. This isnt a particularly simple solution, as youll have to identify the best plants for your property, install them, and then wait for them to get to work.
Unless your HOA or local code enforcement officials mandate otherwise, theres no reason you have to maintain a grass-based lawn . Fire obviously presents some safety concerns, so do be careful while using a torch, but it completely eliminates the need to use potentially toxic chemicals. Just understand that fire may not be a prudent solution for those living in the drought-plagued west, as the risk of sparking a wildfire is simply too great.
But, for those living on the East Coast or the Pacific Northwest, fire can be a helpful and non-toxic tool for eliminating weeds. For that matter, given the fact that the earth is currently experiencing a biodiversity crisis, theres something to be said for allowing an assortment of plant species to grow in your yard . I understand that most readers (particularly ones whove stumbled upon this article) wont be willing to embrace this approach, but I thought Id mention it anyway.
Weve tried to cover everything you need to know about dog-safe weed killers above, but there are a few common questions we felt could use a little more discussion.
Now, its not completely clear whether or not popular weed killers like Roundup containing glyphosate are safe for pets. Theres simply not enough data available. There is, however, some evidence to suggest the inert ingredients in products like Roundup are anyway problematic for dogs.
When there are so many pet-friendly weed killers out there, we think most pet owners would agree it makes sense to go organic. The good news is, most of the really toxic products containing sodium arsenite, borax, and arsenic have been phased out.
Today, then, well be reviewing a dozen of the best dog-safe weed killers so you can easily assess which makes the best fit for you. Once our reviews are in place, well be walking you through some points to consider when youre comparing weed killers. Vinegar is another safe bet and an active ingredient in many of the products we review today.
Check out these powerful but natural weed killers to keep your lawn spotless and your dog safe from harm. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. If you have dogs at home, finding a weed killer thats natural, dog-safe, and also effective can be challenging.
While Green Gobbler states that the formula is glyphosate-free and biodegradable, nothing else is revealed about the ingredients. The only gripe we could find amid a shower of positive user reviews concerns the fact this wont kill all weeds and it wont kill the invisible portion of the weeds either. The first thing that impresses us about Doctor Kirchners natural weed killer is the fact they disclose all four ingredients (salt, water, vinegar, soap).
While the salt does the bulk of the weed killing here, the vinegar and soap also play a role. The spout is designed to simplify applying this weed killer, so you can stay clean while keeping Rover safe. As long as youre OK with keeping this solution away from the lawn, you can kiss goodbye to weeds without endangering your furball.
Natural Armor serves up a solution ideally for killing weeds without harming your hounds. You get vinegar thats the acetic acid along with citrus, sodium, glycerin, essential oil, and water. Its great to have this information, but we would appreciate more detail on the composition of the citrus and sodium ingredients as well as the exact type of essential oil used.
Bottom line, a natural weed killer will never work as efficiently as one laden with chemicals. ECO Garden delivers a glyphosate-free weed killer thats made in the US and perfectly safe for your pooch. Several users have also complimented the ability of ECO Gardens vinegar spray to combat rogue poison ivy without triggering any adverse effects in Fido.
Completely biodegradable and with no complaints from pet owners about toxicity or complications, pop this dog-safe weed killer on your shortlist. Kills weeds and grass quickly Works well on poison ivy 100% biodegradable Energen Carolina produces a heavily vinegar-based solution that works to aggressively kill weeds without any damaging effect on your puppies.
If you dislike the mess involved with glooping weed killer out of a bottle, opt for the spray version of this solution. Ideal for a variety of weeds Organic acid degrades quickly Spray bottle available If you liked the look of the Natural Armor weed killer above but you dont need such a large bottle, this 32oz version is perfect for anyone with small coverage requirements or a tight budget.
Ideal for use against hundreds of common weeds, you can liberally apply this solution across a range of settings. Keep your driveway, patio, and pathway weed-free, and make sure the garden doesnt get choked down with weeds either. The formula works rapidly and is relatively effective for a natural solution containing salt and citric acid.
Thats part of the fun and games of gardening, though, and with dogs in the house, you need to occasionally compromise. Once youve applied the Espoma, your lawn will be ready for use immediately, ideal if you have kids impatiently waiting for you to finish yard duty and Rover straining at the leash. Great for all common weeds Apply twice yearly Lawn suitable for use immediately
As the name of the brand makes clear, this is the ideal treatment if you have dogs at home and want to avoid harsh, chemical-stuffed weed killers. This spray generates a large body of positive user testimonials with many satisfied customers raving about the effectiveness against a variety of weeds. The manufacturer makes assurances that this is a pet–safe solution, and we were unable to find any complaints from pet owners.
As an added kicker, the company channels some of its profits into animal shelters so you can do your part for dogs not as fortunate as yours. OrganicMatters delivers this first-class organic weed killer thats a wonderful addition to any pet owners tool shed. We cant understand why the manufacturer doesnt openly disclose what these ingredients are, but that appears to be commonplace in this industry.
Youll be equipped to deal with hundreds of the most common types of weed blighting your garden with this organic solution. Once youve liberally applied this stuff, it dries very quickly allowing pets and children to start enjoying the garden right away. If youre not happy with the results, you can call in for a refund with no questions asked during the first month after purchase.
The first thing to clear about this offering from Preen is that its not strictly speaking a weed killer. You should use this preventer several times a year as required to stop weeds in their tracks before they start spoiling your lawn. Use this solution safely on all plants up to 2 or 3 inches high giving you a great deal of latitude.
Organic and safe for pets or kids Stops weeds for up to 6 weeks Works on plants to 3 inches tall You should bear in mind that the formula will kill grass so dont go spraying it everywhere unless you want a scorched brown lawn. The 1-gallon bottle provides generous coverage, and this organic and pet–safe weed killer is also competitively priced.
Works on most broadleaf weeds Ready to use out the bottle Completely safe and natural formula Green Gobbler makes some great eco-friendly and pet–safe weed killers, so how does this 1 gallon bottle differentiate itself? Thats a good thing, though, since vinegar is proven effective for killing weeds while also completely safe for your pups at home.
Resultantly, the highly acidic solution will make light work of all unwanted weeds. Ideal for use at home Excellent customer care Impeccable brand heritage To make your life easier, take the following pointers into consideration when youre comparing the best dog-safe weed killers:
Speed of action Frequency of application When will it be safe for your dogs and kids? From dandelion and bindweed to docks, nettles, willowherb, and grasses, most regular weed killers work well. If you need to fight back against poison ivy, you should look for one of the weed killers we review that specialize in exterminating this common garden scourge.
The majority of popular pet–safe options will make light work of these offenders. Beyond this, most of the organic options we review today are safe to spray just about anywhere with one proviso: keep them off the lawn! If youre looking at solutions with this form of delivery system, take a quick look at some user reviews.
These allow you to add a liter of water and use the dosed amount of weed killer. These make light work of applying the weed killer and are undoubtedly our favorite option. In other cases, youll need to dilute the concentrated weed killer with some water.
Make sure you follow the instruction precisely if you want to ensure the solution is safe for your furball. When you spray fully-formed weeds, you may kill the portion thats visible above ground, but the remainder is in place, ready to pop up again in a matter of weeks. An alternative is to pour your weed killer into a watering can and apply it just like you were giving your garden a burst of hydration.
If youre dealing with established perennial weeds, you should attack these at the start of their flowering period. When you read the labels of pet–safe weed killers, youll find some claiming the weed killer will start working within a day or two, while others make it clear youll need to wait weeks, or even a month, to see the first results. You should consider the manufacturers listing as a marketing document: they want to sell this stuff at all costs!
The main advice we would give you when it comes to pet–safe weed killers is to pack plenty of patience. Also, remember that there may be some considerable time between the first effects you notice and the weeds in your garden being completely driven away. When youre comparing organic weed killers, youll find brands offer differing guidelines when it comes to the frequency of application.
Others suggest using the weed killer several times a year with designated waiting periods between. Were pretty sure that any time you head outside for some yard work, your dogs and your children will be eagerly and vocally waiting to get back outside. The good news when youre shopping dog-safe weed killers is that almost all of these products are safe for both your pups and your children as soon as the solution is dry.
Before we round out for the day, weve curated a list of answers to the most frequently asked questions about pet–safe weed killers so you have everything you need in one place. We would have to assume that if it were deadly to dogs, they would be dying all over the place as a result, but the data doesnt suggest this is happening. The EPA has declared it safe to use, as long as its utilized strictly in line with the directions on the label.
Ordinarily, you would use a selective herbicide capable of decimating the dandelions without damaging your grass. The best way to apply a salt-based solution is to mix it with some water than spray liberally all over your grass. Well, if you pitched up today with no real idea about how to choose the best dog-safe weed killers, that should all have changed by now.
Weve also thrown in a handful of completely natural hacks like boiling water and salt, so you have all bases covered without needing any chemicals that might harm your dog. That said, all the formulas we review today deliver reasonable results, even if its not a permanent or even particularly long-lasting solutions. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases – at no cost to you, allowing us to continue our work.
Dogs enjoy frolicking in yards and rolling around in grass. It’s what they do. But if you’re a homeowner who likes to keep their lawn in tip-top shape, then a pet–safe weed killer is incredibly important.Traditional chemical weed killers and lawn treatments can cause problems for our pets—something I unfortunately have first-hand experience with.When my spouse and I took a pet-friendly vacation to Maine several years ago, our Cocker Spaniel developed a reaction after romping around the lush, green lawn of our bed and breakfast. Our dog Brady began vomiting and developed a prickly red rash across her stomach. I called a pet poison helpline and was told she likely suffered from chemical exposure and to seek veterinary care. She received IV fluids, a bath, a blood panel, and ointment for her chemical burns. It turns out, the property had used a chemical weed killer a few days before our arrival.Since that time, I’ve been on a mission to inform other pet parents about the toxicity of certain weed killers and why pet-friendly products should be used in their place.Integrative veterinarian Dr. Laurie Coger worries about glyphosate (a common herbicide) in weed killers. She says glyphosate is implicated in many cancers in both dogs and humans.“Exposure to weed killers, specifically glyphosate, is one of the most overlooked toxins by most dog parents,” she advises. “The chemical is linked to lymphoma and other cancers in humans, and many suspect it could have similar effects in pets.”In fact, a 6-year study conducted by Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine found that the use of lawn chemicals increased a dog’s chance of developing cancer by up to 70 percent.While homeowners may want to keep their lawns looking weed-free during the spring and summer months, using the wrong products to kill weeds could cause harm to four-legged family members.“Common sense dictates that we minimize chemical exposure for ourselves and our pets,” Coger says. “Chemical weed killers are a potential danger to our dogs and outdoor cats.”Roundup is a popular weed killer and lawn treatment, but its main ingredient is isopropylamine salt of glyphosate. Monsanto, the manufacturer of Roundup began selling the product in 1974. In 2015, the World Health Organization determined that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”In 2019, a California couple won a $2 billion dollar lawsuit after they developed cancer linked to the use of Roundup weed killer. Although the judge cut the lawsuit to $86.7 million, the settlement was upheld.Dogs like to roll on grass, many cats go for walks on a leash and their paws encounter grassy lawns, and pets often lick their feet or fur while they are lounging around the house. Any non-pet-friendly weed killers they encounter outside can be ingested into their bloodstream.According to the National Pesticide Information Center, pets that come in contact with wet glyphosate products may drool, have gastric upset, lose their appetites, or become sleepy—none of which are noted on the Roundup labeling or website.If you do choose to use Roundup as your weed–killer of choice, it’s important to keep your dog away from the treated area and talk to your veterinarian if you have concerns.There are a few very important aspects to look for when selecting a pet–safe weed killer for your lawn. Here are a few points to consider:
Despite the label that touts a product as pet–safe and pet-friendly or perhaps natural or organic, pet parents should carefully read the ingredient list. Though chemicals can be effective at killing weeds, they can cause issues when pets are exposed to them. Corn gluten meal and vinegar are all-natural products that are generally safe for dogs and cats.Things like 2,4-D (trimec), sethoxydim, carbon tetrachloride, and chloroform are all ingredients to avoid in a weed killer for pet households.
Look at labels and do some research to verify any governing bodies or organizations that certify weed killers safe for dogs and cats. For example, the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) is a private, nonprofit organization that certifies products as organic.
Prevention or Killer
Some products kill weeds while others prevent them. If your lawn is in good shape, look for a pet-friendly weed prevention product. If your lawn has a weed problem, a pet-friendly weed killer is the way to go.
Read a broad sample of reviews on the pet–safe weed killer or pet-friendly weed prevention product you’re interested in. How long do people say it took to work? Does it take hours, days, or weeks to see a difference? What weeds does it target? Not all weeds are created equal, as some products target dandelions, mosses, chickweed, and dollar weed, while others are explicitly designed to eliminate crabgrass.
If you plan to allow your dog or cat to roam around the yard and enjoy the great outdoors, one of these pet–safe weed killer products should be part of our lawn-care regimen.
Preen Weed Preventer
Green Gobbler is OMRI certified for organic use and designed to use where grasses and weeds are not desired. I’ve personally used this product for years. The Green Gobbler formula is 30 percent stronger than traditional table vinegar and is safe to use right out of the container.I love the removable trigger spray and the fact that it works almost immediately without bothering my dog’s paws or causing irritation. The fact that it is environmentally and pet safe and works like a charm without toxic chemicals puts Green Gobbler high atop our list.
The 5 Best Pet Friendly Weed Killers
Are you looking for the best pet friendly weed killer?Believe it or not, there’s a way to kill weeds and also protect your pets from harm at the same time.While weed killers can be harmful to humans and pets, these picks should be safe for everyone.We’ve chosen our best pet friendly weed killers and given you the essential facts for you to pick the right one for you.
And unlike some other weed killers, which do not provide a full list of ingredients,
Despite having a similar formula to many other pet-friendly weed killers, most owners were shocked at how quickly this product started wiping out their weeds.
How Do Traditional Weed Killers Work?
There are a variety of different weed killers on the market, and a lot of them use different active ingredients and work in different ways. We’ll take a look at three of the most common ones in widespread use below.
Glyphosate (the primary active ingredient in Roundup) is one of the most commonly used weed killers in the world.It is effective on plants that have already started growing, and it isUnlike some other herbicides, which only target some subset of plants (such as grasses or broad-leaved plants),Many backyard gardeners, municipalities, and landscaping professionals use glyphosate, butAnd that makes sense. After all, you may hate the dandelions growing on your lawn, but weeds represent lost money to farmers, as they compete with the crops being grown.In fact, Monsanto – the company that manufactures Roundup (as well as a variety of other products) – sells seeds for crops that have been genetically modified so that they tolerate glyphosate.This means that farmers can hose down their crops with the herbicide, safe in the knowledge that the genetically modified crops are the only plants that will survive.
2,4-D is another extremely common herbicide, and some sources identify it as the one in most widespread use.2,4-D is a plant hormone that causes broad-leafed plants to grow in improper ways, which cause them to die. Unlike glyphosate, 2,4-D targets dicots (broad-leaved plants, including most “weeds”), while allowing monocots (like grasses) to live.Accordingly, it is often used to control weed growth amid lawns.
Sethoxydim has the opposite effect of 2,4-D –It is a post-emergent product,Sethoxydim works by inhibiting the growth of the undesired weeds. The meristems (locations of rapid cell division and growth) of the treated plants typically turn black within 48 hours, while the rest of the plant begins turning red or yellow within about one week.Complete plant death usually occurs in about two weeks.
Outdated Weed Killers
Some of the old-school herbicides farmers and gardeners used decades ago were pretty nasty stuff.For example, 2,4,5-Trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T) was used until the 1970s, when scientists discovered thatThis is an important revelation, which we’ll see again in a moment.But ultimately, 2,3,5-T and most other potentially dangerous herbicides – including borax, sodium arsenite, and arsenic trioxide – have been weeded out (sorry – I couldn’t resist) over time.
Is Glyphosate (Roundup) Safe for Pets?
Scientists have collected quite a bit of data about glyphosate (aka Roundup) over the last few decades.Some studies appear to indicate that glyphosate is unlikely to cause illness or death, but other studies have yielded pretty harrowing information.In fact, some of the data collected has been troubling enough to warrant glyphosate bans in some countries.It has even been banned by the City of Miami.Glyphosate essentially works by destroying EPSP synthase – an enzyme that most plants need to survive.But glyphosate isn’t the only thing in Roundup – it also contains a variety of purportedly inert ingredients.Unfortunately,The researchers did, in fact, find that weed killer’s inert ingredients (as well as the composite formulation) were problematic, regardless of whether or not glyphosate was dangerous. The study’s authors state as much quite plainly: “Here we demonstrate that all formulations are more toxic than glyphosate.” (In this context, they mean formulations containing glyphosate, versus pure glyphosate.)For example,On the flip side, there are studies demonstrating that glyphosate is unlikely to cause harm in practice. For example, a 2008 study examining the effects of glyphosate on woodland mammals and amphibians concluded that:But forget about your pup;All of this research is enough to convince us thatBut, if you’d like to read more about the issue, this article from
Is 2,4-D (Trimec) Safe for Pets?
Because 2,4-D is primarily designed to affect the way plants grow, it is thought to be fairly safe for humans when properly used and applied.Nevertheless, as explained by the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC), “People who drank products containing 2,4-D vomited, had diarrhea, headaches, and were confused or aggressive.”So, yeah – you definitely don’t to drink this stuff, breathe in its fumes, or get it on your skin.And unfortunately for dog lovers,It isn’t clear whether your pet can get enough 2,4-D by licking sprayed grass to cause these problems or not, but it’s probably not something that most dog owners want to find out firsthand.Additionally, it is important to note that
Is Sethoxydim Toxic for Pets?
While it probably shouldn’t be considered completely safe, sethoxydim appears less toxic than many of the other commonly used herbicides.Tests in mice demonstrated that it did not appear to be carcinogenic, and similar tests seem to verify that itHowever,Additionally,
Dog-Safe Safe Lawn Care Strategies
The dog-safe weed killers we recommend above should only represent a minimal threat to your pets. But remember that many “safe” chemicals and ingredients can become dangerous if applied excessively or improperly.So, be sure to employ the following tips when trying to kill the weeds in your yard:
1. Boiling Water
But, it’ll also kill grass and other desirable plants, so it won’t work for waging war on the dandelions growing in the middle of your yard.It will, however,Just fill a big pot with water, heat it until it’s boiling and then carry it outside and dump it on the weeds you want to take out. For goodness’ sake,It may take more than one round of boiling water to completely eliminate the weeds, and you’ll likely have to do this periodically as new weeds pop up over the summer. But,
Vinegar, it turns out, is a pretty potent plant killer. In fact,That begs the question: If vinegar will kill weeds, why buy fancy pet–safe weed killers at all?
You can simply buy vinegar, pour it in a spray bottle, and start raining non-toxic death on your weeds.The problem boils down to concentration. The white or apple cider vinegar that you use to make salad dressings or soups are pretty diluted – most are only about 5% vinegar.This isn’t strong enough to kill most plants. Instead, you’ll need a solution of 10% to 30% vinegar to have the desired effect.Sure, you can buy strong vinegar yourself, but at that point,
Salt is also a relatively safe substance that is a natural weed– and grass killer.You obviously don’t want your dog to eat a mouthful of salt, as this can be quite dangerous, but if you apply it in a sensible fashion, it shouldn’t present any problems.This means it is best suited for killing weeds growing through cracks in your sidewalk or driveway.If a few applications of that strength don’t seem to be working, add some more salt and try again. Just try to use the weakest solution possible to avoid causing long-term issues for the soil.
4. Hand Pull Your Weeds
It may not be particularly fun to do so, but you can just hand-pull the weeds in your yard. If you do so regularly and stay on top of things, it can be pretty effective, and it won’t represent any type of danger for your pooch.You may want to even consider picking up a stand-up weed removing tool to make the job a bit easier.
5. Incorporate Allelopathic Plants
These plants – which are called allelopathic plants – do so as a way to eliminate the competition.This isn’t a particularly simple solution, as you’ll have to identify the best plants for your property, install them, and then wait for them to get to work. You’ll also have to pick plants that are harmful to weeds, but harmless to the plants you want to survive.So, you’ll have to do a bit of research to employ this strategy. We don’t have the space to explain more here, but this page may help you understand the basics.
6. Switch to a Non-Grass Ground Cover
Unless your HOA or local code enforcement officials mandate otherwise, there’s no reason you have to maintain a grass-based lawn.Just be sure to select a dog-safe variety that’ll grow well in your area if you decide to make a switch.
7. Burn the Weeds
Fire obviously presents some safety concerns, so do be careful while using a torch, but it completely eliminates the need to use potentially toxic chemicals.There are a bunch of torches on the market, but the Red Dragon Weed Dragon is clearly one of the best. It is made in the USA and designed to hook up to any refillable propane tank (like the one under your grill). It also earned the National Home Gardening Club Member Tested Seal-of-Approval.Just understand thatBut, for those living on the East Coast or the Pacific Northwest, fire can be a helpful and non-toxic tool for eliminating weeds.
You obviously can’t mulch your lawn, butYou can also use mulch in and around walkways, play areas, and dog runs too.Just be sure to stick to a pet–safe mulch product.
9. Just Ignore Them
Honestly, this is my preferred method of dealing with weeds – they don’t bother me, so I don’t bother them.Most weeds don’t represent any problem aside from compromising the aesthetics of your lawn, and some of us simply don’t care about this “problem.”For that matter, given the fact that the earth is currently experiencing a biodiversity crisis,I understand that most readers (particularly ones who’ve stumbled upon this article) won’t be willing to embrace this approach, but I thought I’d mention it anyway.
Dog Safe Weed Care FAQs
We’ve tried to cover everything you need to know about dog-safe weed killers above, but there are a few common questions we felt could use a little more discussion.
Is Roundup weed killer safe for pets?
The evidence regarding the safety of Roundup (and, to a lesser extent, the active ingredient glyphosate) is mixed. Personally, I’d consider it too risky to use around pets, but some owners may feel comfortable using it.
Is Spectracide weed killer safe for pets?
Spectracide contains a number of active ingredients, but 2,4-D is the first one that appears on the label. As discussed above, 2,4-D is certainly not something to take lightly, and dogs appear to be especially sensitive to it.
8. Just For Pets Weed Killer Spray
Energen Carolina produces a heavily vinegar-based solution that works to aggressively kill weeds without any damaging effect on your puppies.Working well to counter a range of weeds, you can watch the organic acetic acid get to work quickly, and it degrades just as rapidly.If you dislike the mess involved with glooping weed killer out of a bottle, opt for the spray version of this solution. The nifty dispenser takes the sting out of application.Despite being proven safe as far as dogs are concerned, some customers raise concerns about the safety of this product for birds. If this is an issue for you, we suggest doing your due diligence.As a non-selective herbicide, you should keep this solution away from your lawn.
12. Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed Killer
OrganicMatters delivers this first-class organic weed killer that’s a wonderful addition to any pet owner’s tool shed.The formula is free of glyphosate and is made of all-natural ingredients. We can’t understand why the manufacturer doesn’t openly disclose what these ingredients are, but that appears to be commonplace in this industry.You’ll be equipped to deal with hundreds of the most common types of weed blighting your garden with this organic solution.Once you’ve liberally applied this stuff, it dries very quickly allowing pets and children to start enjoying the garden right away.If you’re not happy with the results, you can call in for a refund with no questions asked during the first month after purchase. What more can you ask for?