Lawn and Pets


This article was written for Pet Guardian Angels of America by Jenn Lee



Photo by Pexels

Pet-Friendly Lawn Care Tips

Who doesn’t want a gorgeous lawn? A perfectly manicured lawn and well-kept flower beds don’t just look great; they also help to boost your home’s value.

The thing about lawn care, however, is that not all products and practices are safe for your four-legged companions who spend any amount of time outdoors. Using harsh chemicals or planting toxic flowers could put your animal friends in danger. If you want a beautiful lawn that’s also safe for your pets, here are a few tips to help you achieve your goals.

Take Care with Chemicals

Conventional products that many people use to eliminate weeds and deter pests contain chemicals that can be harmful to your pets if ingested. If you’re using conventional herbicides, pesticides, or insecticides, you should put your pets indoors while you treat your lawn. While your dog might not eat the grass after you’ve sprayed it, he may walk through it and then lick his paws. Give the products ample time to dry before allowing your pets back outside.

Keep in mind that conventional products aren’t your only options. You can search for pet-friendly lawn maintenance products online or at your local home improvement store. Or, if you would prefer to have your lawn professionally maintained, you can search for lawn maintenance near me to find companies that use pet-friendly products.

Remove (and Avoid) Toxic Plants

A garden is a great way to enhance the beauty of your yard. You have numerous flowers and plants to choose from, enabling you to customize the exterior of your home to suit your tastes. As a pet owner, you need to consider the ones you want carefully, as certain plants are toxic to your animal companions. Plants to avoid include:

  • Irises.
  • Foxglove.
  • Lily-of-the-valley.
  • Wisteria.
  • Begonias.
  • Rose of Sharon.
  • Hydrangeas.

If you’re not sure what to plant instead, some pet-safe ideas include:

  • Camellia’s.
  • Magnolia bushes.
  • Marigolds.
  • Nasturtiums.
  • Snapdragons.
  • Sunflowers.

Pay Attention to Mulch and Fertilizers

Mulch and fertilizers help to feed your plants and your lawn, keeping everything healthy and looking its best. The problem, however, is that they’re not always safe for pets. Certain types of mulch and fertilizers contain ingredients such as bone meal, fish byproducts, and other ingredients your pets might find delicious. They can be harmful when consumed in large quantities, though. Ingesting too much fertilizer can lead to significant digestive upset, tremors, seizures, or worse.

Again, much like lawn care products, exercise caution. Use fencing to block access to your garden. If your pets have access to where you’ll be using these products, look for pet-friendly options. Avoid mulch that has cocoa in it. Cocoa contains theobromine, which is the same compound in chocolate that makes the ingredient toxic to dogs. Some options to consider include:

  • Grass clippings.
  • Manure.
  • Compost.

Put Pets Away When Using Heavy Equipment

Taking care of your yard yourself can be very rewarding. The thing is, maintaining the grass and gardens may involve the use of some heavy equipment, such as a lawn mower, seedeater, saw, or leaf blower. While these machines are useful, they can also be rather scary for pets. The loud noises they produce can cause your pets to become frightened. Your dog or cat may run away upon hearing the machine start. If they run into the road, they’re at risk of being hit by an oncoming car. Or, your pet may get too close when you’re using one of these machines, which could blow sticks, rocks, and other debris at high speeds.

For the safety of your pets, don’t operate heavy equipment while they’re outdoors with you. Put them inside or pen them in an area where you aren’t working. This will help to prevent injuries and keep them safe.

Pets shouldn’t keep you from having a beautiful lawn. Taking the time to consider the products you’re using and exercising caution when working outdoors can help you achieve a yard that everyone in your family (both human and animal) can enjoy.

Jenn Lee, is a family blogger and proud parent of Reggie the Golden Retriever .