With spring already here and summer fast approaching, people are beginning to clean up their yards in preparation for cookouts, play time with the kids, and good ole fun in the sun. Many yards need some TLC after a long, cold winter, especially if some weeds have sprung up. But before you go heavy on the weed killers and pesticides, make sure the products you’re using are safe for your pets!
While the use of chemical treatments can vastly improve the appearance of your plants, garden, and lawn space, some products can be harmful to the health of your furry friends. If your pets who like to hide in bushes or roll in the grass, it’s important to know which products won’t cause harm. Luckily, as products continue to become safer for humans, they become safer for pets, too. If you follow your product’s instructions correctly, most will be safe for your dogs, cats, and other animal companions.
Spray-on weed killers and pesticides target specific problem areas and are safe for pets after the treatment has dried. However, if your pet likes to munch on plants, it may be best to avoid this option.
Hose-end treatments are just what they sound like; the product attaches to your hose and can be sprayed across your yard through with the water. Like spray-on products, hose-end products are unsafe for pets (and people) until dry. However, because these treatments soak into the ground, they are usually the safest option for pets.
Granular treatments are sprinkled into desired areas and slowly filter into the soil. Most of these products are safe for pets after product dust has settled.
Brands like EcoSMART boast an environmentally friendly, non-toxic formula which is safe to use on fruits and vegetables, and around children and pets. However, products such as these typically have mixed reviews; while they may be less toxic, they are also sometimes less effective.
If you’re not interested in reading through the ingredients of harsh, store-bought weed killers, try making your own remedies at home! Better Homes & Gardens recommends these solutions:
- Vinegar: A safe solution for pet-occupied areas, vinegar makes soil inhospitable to plants. While this may not be the best solution for your yard and garden areas, put it into pavement cracks in your driveway, sidewalk, or patio to get rid of weeds.
- Cornmeal: While cornmeal won’t get rid of existing weeds, it can help prevent them from growing. Acting as a pre-emergent, cornmeal helps prevent seeds from germinating. This means it won’t harm your existing plants and will help keep weeds at bay.
- Smothering: Plants need sunlight to live, so if you cut off their supply, you’ll also cut them out of the picture. Mulching around existing plants with pine needles, rocks, shredded bark, or other natural materials allows water to reach the roots of your favored plants while also killing off any unwanted inhabitants.
If you do choose to use chemical pesticides and weed killers, make sure you follow the product instructions on when to allow pets back onto the premises. If you have concerns about your pet’s health, contact us.