Pet-Friendly Lawns and Gardens

Reader Contribution by Amanda Thompson

I love my dog more than a lot of things in this world. Even when he wakes me up to play at 6 a.m. on Saturdays, he’s just so darn cute that I can’t get mad at him. I let him sleep in my bed, and he gets a treat-filled stocking every Christmas. Maybe that’s obsessive, but the point is, I go to great lengths to make sure he’s happy and healthy.

When I read recently that fertilizers can increase cancer risk in dogs, I started to worry (he seems to have an insatiable appetite for grass some days). I did a little research into pet-friendly lawn and garden care, and here’s some of what I found:

My scruffy pup loves to be outdoors, and sometimes he loves to eat the outdoors. With organic and natural fertilizers, I can be sure he can munch away on grass without ingesting toxins. Photo Courtesy Amanda Thompson.

• Stay away from lawn and garden care products that contain herbicides and pesticides–they are dangerous to pets and can cause gastrointestinal problems. If you’re unsure of what may be lurking in your fertilizer, it’s a good idea to water the area thoroughly before letting pets romp around outside.

• Use organic fertilizers to care for your lawn and garden the natural way and keep chemicals off your lawn.

• Know exactly what’s in your fertilizer by creating your own compost.

• Avoid mulches that can be toxic to animals. Cocoa bean mulch, though popular for its fragrance and appearance, contains ingredients such as caffeine and theobromine that can be toxic to dogs. Ingested cocoa bean mulch can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and even seizures and possible death.

Check out our garden and lawn resource page for places to buy pet-safe products.

Learn more about caring for your lawn and garden the pet-friendly way.

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