Everyone enjoys a weed free garden. Whenever our garden gets overrun by weeds, our go to solutions are herbicides and fertilizers. You may have to resort to these for your raised bed gardens or simple lawn gardening.
The majority of these items however contain chemicals. These chemicals help in maintaining your garden properly by keeping the weeds away and preventing them from growing back quickly. But these items can at the same time pose dangers for your dog, if not used properly.
Using commercial pesticides is safe as long as one adheres to the instructions mentioned in the label. Make sure that you read the label properly and are aware of all the ingredients that are present in the product. There are also natural alternatives to the weed killers that can be used but they won’t be as powerful as the store bought herbicides and pesticides.
Are Weed Killers Dangerous for Pets?
Many weed killers consist of harsh chemicals that can pose risk to the dogs.
Some weed killers may contain methyl-4 chlorophenoxyacetic acid and diquat dibromide – chemicals that can be highly toxic to pets. It can then lead to various health problems, some also having fatal outcomes. Some of the best weed and grass killers in the market are however pet friendly and can be considered as a buying option.
Many pesticides like roundup are not safe for your pets and they can also track it to other areas of lawn like flowerbeds, which can be harmful. Smaller amounts of pesticides can result in gastrointestinal issues like diarrhoea, vomiting and even loss of appetite. Commercial weed killers tend to possess chemicals which can pose harm to the pets if their toxins get on their paws or fur. Therefore, we should always keep our dogs away from the grass until it’s dry.
Potential Risks of Roundup Exposure for Pets
Pesticides and herbicides can cause serious health problems to your pets. After a while the chemicals get absorbed in their bodies. If they keep coming in contact with the chemical sprayed grass they may also ingest the chemicals. PubMed notes that they may then start vomiting, breathing heavily or shaking. High amounts of Roundup ingestion can initially cause hyperactivity and a faster heart rate. These can then be followed by depression and a lower heart rate.
Wet roundup can be particularly dangerous for pets. Their primary ingredient is glyphosate acid which is a fast-acting contact herbicide. It works by blocking the shikimic acid pathway found in plants and not in animals. If pets come in contact with wet glyphosate products they may start drooling, have an upset stomach, lose their appetite or may become sleepy. These risks are even mentioned on the Roundup label or website.
Another contact herbicide diquat dibromide is an active ingredient in Roundup. This chemical frequently used in aquatic areas can damage the cell membranes of plants. It can also cause cataracts in dogs and rats, and cause developmental effects in rats and rabbits. It is always advisable to wait for a considerable amount of time like 48 hours before letting your dog out on the chemical sprayed grass, just to be on the safer side.
Other ingredients may also be included in the formulation, based on the version of the roundup. These increase the efficiency of the product and enhance its effects. Polyethoxylated tallow amine for example is included as a surfactant to allow for greater herbicide penetration. It can also add to the overall toxicity of the product making it more dangerous for the pets.
How Long Do Pesticides Take to Decompose Entirely?
Glyphosate-based herbicides, like Roundup, do not have an effect on the seeds, and therefore vegetable crops or lawn grass can instantly be sown after the weeds have been destroyed. The decomposition of herbicides in the soil happens to safe compounds because of the natural microorganisms of the soil.
It is also possible to make use of the special microbiological provisions to speed up the process of decomposition. It may require up to 6 months to equalise the results of herbicides in the thin and cold soil. However, the weed killer can get rid of its job after 3 to 4 weeks on a cultivated warmed soil.
How Long to Keep Dogs and Pets Off Grass After Spraying Roundup?
Weed killers can pose serious risks to the safety of our animals. Hence the question arises as to how long to keep dogs off grass after weed killer? Professional gardeners have suggested keeping your dog off the grass for around 24 hours after spraying the weed killer. However, different pesticides function in their own distinct manner, hence the time period can vary accordingly. Mainly, your dog shouldn’t get any chance to ingest the chemicals.
It can be hard to exactly ascertain the time for which the pets should be kept away after spraying weed killer. But 30 hours is the minimum time to ensure that they are completely safe. The size of the yard and the temperature also play an important role in determining the temperature. Most herbicides or pesticides tend to have this information on their label. Otherwise, you should be careful to not let your dog run on the grass until it’s completely dried.
What If My Dog Licks Roundup?
Can weed killer kill dogs? However dangerous roundup looks, its effects are not going to cause any serious issues after a minor contact. The effects are usually temporary and die out after some 48 hours. If the dogs ingest the chemicals of roundup, they may start vomiting, breathing heavily, or shivering. These are some common signs of poisoning. There can also be some chemical burns around the nose, mouth or paws.
Relatively small amounts of roundup ingestion do not pose any significant risks. In some rare cases, Round up may result in convulsion, edema and death. Although for roundup to become necessarily fatal, the dog has to ingest some significant litres before that can happen.
If your dog does licks the roundup, make sure that it drinks huge amounts of water which may help in diluting the roundup and removing it from their bodies. Within hours of ingestion, you can also feed milk to your dog to dilute the Roundup. Feeding activated charcoal can also help. For some time you may want to give easy to digest foods to your dog. If your dog has ingested large amounts of roundup or is displaying erratic or strange behaviour, contact a vet.
Are There Pet Friendly Weed Killer Alternatives?
As a pet owner, it can be concerning to use chemical weed killers in your yard or garden. Many popular lawn roundups contain harmful chemicals that can be dangerous to your pets if ingested or even if they come into contact with them. As such, pet owners often wonder whether there are any pet-friendly weed killers available in the market. Here’s my handpicked list of pet friendly weed killer alternatives that are relatively safer for pets.
- Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer: With 20 percent vinegar, it promises to remove any kind of weed within a time period of 24 hours. It is also effective in cases of widespread and invasive weeds like crabgrass, dollarweed, clover.
- Harris 20% Vinegar Extra Strength: This non toxic weed killer with 20 percent vinegar is hard at the weed. It will kill the invasive patches of weed, but it will also kill any plant or grass with it.
- Pet Safe Weed Killer: It is an all natural weed killer that also has a fast drying formula and will not harm any animals. It is a pet-friendly herbicide with a combination of ingredients like vinegar, citric acid, salt, olive oil and others.
- Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed & Grass Killer: This weed killer is pet safe and relies on ocean water, vinegar and soap to disrupt the process of photosynthesis and thereby kill the weeds.
- Bonide Ready-to-Use Burnout Weed and Grass Killer: This all natural product is a good option for anyone who is sensitive to vinegar. It tends to disintegrate any greenery that might come in its path and a mix of clove oil and citric acid adds to it a pleasant smell not present in other products. Once it is fully dried, it becomes water proof, hence safe for animals.
- Natural Armour Weed and Grass Killer: It uses vinegar, citric acid, salt and other essential oils in its organic formula which stops the growth of weeds within hours. It works best when applied on warm, sunny days.
- ECO Garden PRO – Organic Vinegar Weed Killer: It is a ready to use product which makes use of organic white vinegar and himalayan rock salt to eliminate the weeds and does not harm the pets as well. It is especially useful to be used for weeds that pop out on driveways, parking lots or sidewalks. It can tackle a variety of weeds without causing dangers to the pets.
The time taken for drying by various pesticides can vary according to different environmental factors. After spraying the weed killer, your yards should be off limits for some time to ensure the safety of your pets. Before you let your dogs and other pets out on the grass after spraying weed killer, make sure that the grass is completely dried. Pets while tracking the pesticides to the other areas of lawn harming them can also themselves become sick.
Many people are now turning towards natural and less toxic alternatives of the potentially unsafe chemical pesticides and herbicides. As far as safety goes, these ingredients can be very beneficial for the pets, but the effectiveness may be compromised somewhat since the commercial chemicals are better at doing the trick and acting on the weed. Hence, even the traditional chemicals can be safe as long as all the instructions are closely followed and precautions are taken.