If you own pets, you may be worried about keeping your lawn and garden looking its best without putting your beloved pet at risk. Fortunately, there are a number of weed killers that are safe for pets, if used correctly. These products are formulated to target broadleaf weeds like dandelions, clover, and chickweed, without causing harm to your furry family members. Here’s a closer look at what you need to know about using weed killers safely around pets.
Weed Killer Safe For Pets
- Spot Treatment Products: Spot treatment products are applied directly to the weeds, and work by applying a concentrated dose of herbicides into the weed itself. They can be used to target specific, individual weeds without directly affecting other plants or animals. Spot treatment products can be a great choice for pet owners since they’re typically safe if pets don’t eat them.
- Boiling Water: Boiling water is a simple, effective method for killing weeds that doesn’t involve any toxic chemicals. Boiling water will kill existing weeds and can also prevent new weeds from sprouting. And because it doesn’t involve any toxic chemicals, boiling water is considered safe for pets.
- Vinegar: Vinegar is a common, all-purpose material that can be used as an effective weed killer. The acetic acid in the vinegar works to destroy the weed’s cells, causing it to dry out and die. While it works effectively and is safe for pets, it does require multiple applications and needs to be used carefully to avoid killing nearby plants.
- Salt Solution: Salt solutions are a popular weed killer that can be bought in many stores or made with just salt and water. As with vinegar, salt kills weeds by destroying their cells. However, it is also important to remember that salt solution will kill all plants, not just weeds, so it must be used carefully.
- Corn Gluten Meal: Corn gluten meal is often touted as an all-natural weed killer. It works by blocking weeds’ ability to absorb nutrients and water from the soil. While corn gluten meal is safe for pets, it does require multiple applications over a long period of time to be effective, so it may not be the best choice for those who want immediate results.
Are Herbicides And Weed Killers Safe To Use Around Dogs?
Herbicides and weed killers are generally considered to be safe to use around dogs, though caution is still advised. Care should be taken to ensure that pets are not able to access treated areas as some of the chemicals can be toxic if ingested. It is also important to read the label and follow the instructions to avoid potential dangers.
Weed Killer and Pets: What to Know
When it comes to weed killers and pets, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks. Weed killers often contain harsh chemicals that can be toxic to pets if ingested. It is always safest to keep weed killers away from pets, as they can become seriously ill if they come into contact with them. It is also important to prevent pets from consuming plants treated with weed killers. When using weed killers, read the product label carefully and follow all instructions. Make sure to wear protective clothing and a protective mask when applying it. If your pet ingests a weed killer, contact your veterinarian immediately and provide them with the product name and the active ingredients.
How Can I Control Weeds Without Chemicals?
- Hand-Pulling: This is a great way to get rid of weeds when they are young and haven’t taken hold of the soil. Make sure to get a good grip on the weed and pull it out of the root and dispose of it accordingly.
- Mulch: Placing organic mulch around the plants will help by blocking the sunlight, and preventing weed seeds from germinating and growing.
- Boiling Water: Boiling water can be an effective way to kill weeds. Pour the water directly onto the roots or leaves of the weed, making sure to avoid contact with other plants.
- Corn Gluten Meal: This is a byproduct of corn processing and when applied to soil prevents weed germination by inhibiting root growth.
- Vinegar: The acetic acid in vinegar will kill young weeds, but will not be effective for mature or deep-rooted weeds. Vinegar can also be used to kill weeds on hard surfaces.
- Solarisation: This is an easy way to get rid of weeds. Cover the area you wish to treat with clear plastic to increase the temperature of the soil and create an environment in that weeds cannot survive.
When Is It Safe For Pets After Spraying Weed Killer?
It is typically safe for pets to be around areas where weed killer has been sprayed after it has dried, usually within 10 to 15 minutes. It is best to keep pets away from areas that have recently been sprayed until the product is completely dry, which will depend on the type of weed killer that is being used and the weather conditions.
Symptoms Of Weed Killer/Herbicide Poisoning
- Burning/tingling sensation
- Irritation/sore throat
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Difficulty breathing or wheezing
- Chest tightness
- Skin rash or irritation
- Muscle tremors
- Loss of consciousness
Cat Weed Killer Poisoning Symptoms
Cat weed killer poisoning symptoms can include lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, trembling, eye redness, and increased thirst. More severe symptoms can include seizures, respiratory distress, difficulty breathing, and even death. If any of these symptoms are observed, seek veterinary care immediately.
Pet-Friendly Weed Killer
- Scotts Turf BuilderWinterguard Weed & Feed
- PBI Gordon’DacthalGranules
- Bayer Advanced All-In-One Lawn Weed & Crabgrass Killer
- Roundup Fast Action Weed & Grass Killer
- Ortho GroundClear Weed & Grass Killer
- EcoSmart Organic Weed & Grass Killer
- Spectracide Immunox Multi-Purpose Fungicide
- Ortho Weed B Gon Weed Killer for Lawns
- Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer
- VPG Fertilome Lawn & Garden Products Weed-Out Weed Killer
What to Look For in Pet-Safe Weed Killer
- Natural Ingredients: Look for pet-safe weed killers that contain natural ingredients like vinegar or citric acid, which are safer for pets than more synthetic types of weed killers.
- Non-toxic: Look for products that are designed to be non-toxic to pets. Also, look for weed killers that are certified at least “bio-based” or safe enough to be used with organic gardening practices.
- Low Application Rates: Many pet-safe weed killers can still be harmful if used in higher concentrations, so look for products that are meant to be used at low application rates.
- Easy to Use: Look for products that are easy to apply and don’t require a lot of vigorous scrubbing and maintenance in order to be effective.
- Eco-Friendly: Look for pet-safe weed killers that are designed to be eco-friendly and biodegradable, which will help protect your local environment.
Key Ingredients to Avoid in Weed Killer
- Glyphosate: Glyphosate is an active ingredient found in many weed killers, and has been linked to health issues such as cancer and endocrine disruption, which can interfere with things like fertility, pregnancy, and puberty.
- 2,4-D & Dicamba: These weed killers can drift in the air and contaminate nearby crops, and have been linked to reproductive problems, cancer, and endocrine disruption.
- Petroleum-based Solvents: These solvents can be toxic if ingested and can increase the risk of skin and lung irritation if inhaled or absorbed through the skin.
DR Kirchner Weed Killer
Kirchner Weed Killer is a professional-grade, herbicide-based weed killer that targets unwanted weeds in lawns, gardens, and other areas. The product is available in granular and liquid concentrate formulas and contains active ingredients that effectively kill a variety of common weeds without damaging the grass or other desirable plants. Kirchner is designed for use in both residential and commercial applications and provides effective, long-lasting results.
Where To Buy Pet-friendly Weedkillers
Many pet-friendly weedkillers are available for purchase online through retailers such as Amazon, Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, and more. Additionally, many gardening and home improvement stores sell pet-friendly weed killers.
Homemade Weed Killer
- Weeds can be unsightly and troublesome in the garden. Several natural remedies and homemade weed killers can be used to prevent weeds in the garden or lawn.
- Boiling Water: Pouring boiling water on weeds is an effective way to kill them off quickly. Make sure to pour the water directly on the weed, as boiling water can also kill off nearby plants and grass.
- Vinegar Solution: Mixing two parts vinegar with one part water in a spray bottle and spraying it directly onto weeds can be an effective weed killer. Make sure to avoid spraying plants or grass that you wish to keep.
- Salt Solution: Mixing two cups of salt with one gallon of hot water and pouring it directly onto weeds can also be an effective DIY weed killer.
- Weed Torch: Gas-powered weed torches can be used to burn off weeds quickly and with precision.
- Weed Killer Soap: Mixing one part dish soap with four parts water can be used to make an effective weed-killer spray. This should be sprayed directly onto the weed and can irritate nearby plants, so use caution.
DIY Non-Toxic Pet-Friendly Weed Killer Recipes
- White Vinegar Spray: Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle and spray away.
- Salt and Vinegar Solution: Mix 1 cup of salt with 1 gallon of white vinegar. Let the solution sit for 24 hours before straining the salt crystals. Mix one part of the strained solution with 5 parts water and spray the weeds.
- Lemon Juice and Salt: Mix together 1/2 cup of lemon juice, 1 cup of salt, and 1 gallon of hot water. Pour this solution directly over the weeds and the surrounding soil.
- Corn Gluten Meal: This is a natural pre-emergent herbicide which means that it prevents weeds from germinating. Apply the corn gluten meal to the area affected by the weeds. It is safe for both pets and children.
- Molasses and Vinegar: Mix 1 cup of molasses, 1 gallon of white vinegar, and 1 quart of water in a spray bottle. Spray the weed-infested area.
Vinegar Weed Killer Safe For Pets
Vinegar can be used as a safe and effective weed killer that is safe for pets. It is non-toxic to animals and will not harm them if they ingest any of the solution. Vinegar is an acid-based product and can burn the foliage of weeds when sprayed directly. To avoid contact with your pet, make sure to use a spray bottle and point it away from your pet when spraying. It is important to also avoid spraying vinegar onto any desirable plants as it could potentially kill or damage them.
How to Best Protect Pets from Weed Killers
- Use pet-safe weed killers: Pet-safe weed killers are made using natural ingredients such as vinegar, citric acid, and essential oils, so they are less likely to harm pets if used in smaller doses.
- Apply weed killers away from pets: When applying weed killers, keep pets away or indoors to ensure that they do not come in contact with the spray.
- Place protective barriers: It’s best to create a physical barrier between pests and pesticides. This can be done by placing mulch and plastic sheets around plants and trees.
- Wash your pet’s paws: Even with the precautionary steps you can still take, your pet may still come in contact with the chemicals. Make sure to wash your pet’s paws and fur immediately if contact occurs.
- Contact a vet: If you think your pet has ingested weed killer, contact your veterinarian immediately and be sure to take the packaging of whatever chemical was used.
Q. Can you spray weed killer with pets?
A. No, it is not recommended to spray weed killer with pets present as the chemicals can be hazardous to both people and animals. Pets should be kept away from sprayed areas until the weed killer has dried completely.
Q. Does salt kill weeds?
A. Salt is an effective weed killer because it draws moisture from the soil and causes the weeds to dehydrate and ultimately die. However, it can also damage other nearby plants that you want to keep alive, so it should only be used sparingly and in areas with no other plants.
Q. Can weed killers kill cats?
A. Weed killers typically contain chemicals that are very toxic and can be harmful to cats if ingested. Ingestion of weed killers could cause serious illness or death if not treated quickly. It is important to keep cats away from any area where weed killers have been applied.
Q. How long after spraying weed killer is it safe for pets?
A. Most weed killers contain chemicals that are toxic to animals. The length of time it takes for the weed killer to become safe for pets depends on the product and its active ingredients. Generally, you should wait at least 24 hours after spraying before allowing pets to enter the treated area.
In conclusion, while weed killers with active ingredients such as glyphosate are generally safe for pets when used and stored according to the product label instructions, some pets may still experience adverse reactions, such as vomiting and skin irritation. Therefore, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian prior to applying a weed killer containing any active ingredients that could potentially be harmful. Additionally, any spills should be cleaned up and the treated area out of reach of pets until the product is fully dry. When using any weed killer, it’s important to be aware of your pet’s health and to take the necessary steps to keep them safe.