Are you getting ready to spruce up your lawn and garden this summer? Well, why wouldn’t you? After all, it’s the best time to start fertilizing your lawn and working in the garden. But keep pet friendly fertilizers at the top of your list if you have a dog in your family!
What do you usually use as fertilizers? Granular or liquid fertilizers, mulch, weed and feed, compost?
Did you know that not all of them are safe for your family and dogs?
Although the fertilizers are used on the lawn, they have a tendency to drift into the homes where they can contaminate the air and surfaces inside the homes. In fact, children are 10 times more likely to get infected!
A study was conducted by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They tested about 10,000 people across the U.S. and the results were quite surprising.
They found that each and every person tested had traces of pesticides in their blood and urine.The average person had 13 out of the 23 pesticides that were tested.
If using chemical-based fertilizers can harm you and your family who may not spend as much time on the lawn or in your garden, just imagine how it can affect your dogs. They are the ones who spend maximum time in the garden playing, running, digging, sniffing around, rolling on their backs and doing their business.
As a pet parent, it’s your responsibility to keep your family safe indoors as well as outdoors. This includes using pet friendly fertilizers that are safe for your pooch.
The Correct Way of Using Pet Friendly Fertilizers on Lawns and Gardens
The pet-friendly fertilizers that are commercially prepared usually list out precautions and restrictions. You need to follow them step-by-step.
Some fertilizers may even suggest to keep your dogs off the lawn for about 24 hours after fertilizing it. You can be extra careful and make sure your dog doesn’t go on the lawn for even 48 hours.
Watering the lawn or garden after applying the fertilizers is a necessity with most lawn care products. However, even if it’s not mentioned for the product that you’re using, it’s always a good idea to water the treated areas.
The water helps in breaking down the chemicals. So, it’s a good idea to water your lawn or garden before you let your dog on it. Ensure that you adhere to and take any and all precautionary measures.
Use Extra Precautions, Even with Pet Friendly Fertilizers
You can be extra careful and break any clumps or clods of fertilizer into smaller pieces before putting them on your lawn and in your garden. Preferably, make them as tiny and as powdered as possible. As you may already know, dogs find any new objects interesting and may want to lick or taste it. Finding clumps of fertilizer on your lawn or in your garden can be dangerous for them.
Another precaution that you can take is by storing any fertilizers that is unused in its original bag. Store the bag in places that are off limits for your dogs or places where they are not able to get into. For instance, a plastic container with a lid that can be locked in place.
Dogs are very skillful and can find their way into places where they don’t belong. Although, you may have taken all possible precautions and used pet-friendly fertilizers, you still need to be aware of the symptoms of chemical poisoning. If you see any of the following in your dog, call the vet immediately.
- Tremors in muscles
That being said, there are some natural fertilizers that can be used, which will be safe for your family as well as dogs. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Natural Pet Friendly Fertilizers
Seaweed is extremely rich in nitrogen and as such works as a very good fertilizer for your lawns and gardens. Although, you can buy it to use on the ground, they are more commonly available as a spray-on liquid.
By leaving grass clippings on the lawn while mowing, you can use 20% less nitrogen fertilizer. However, longer grass clippings don’t work and may be more harmful than useful. So, if you’d like to use grass clippings, you’ll need to mow the lawn more often.
One of the best fertilizers for your garden is compost. In fact, you can even make it on your own. If you do, then it’s available to you completely free of cost. If you’d like, you can use the compost on your lawn too, but you’ll need a lot more for the lawn for the compost to be able to provide adequate nitrogen.
Using manure is a bit tricky because dogs usually try to eat it. If you’re thinking about using horse manure, then you need to know that it contains more weed seeds.
But if you compost it for three or four months, the smell reduces considerably. Composting horse manure can kill the weed seeds as well as any harmful bacteria. So, composting the manure makes it safer for dogs as well as the garden.
Are Liquid Fertilizers Safe to Use on Lawns?
Using liquid fertilizers for your lawn will help the soil absorb the nutrients faster than any granular fertilizer would. However, determining when your dog can go on the lawn or to your garden after the application of liquid fertilizer is something that you need to figure out on your own.
It can get a bit tricky as the liquid fertilizer makes it a bit difficult to ascertain if it has been absorbed completely or not. So, as a precautionary measure, it’s better if your dog stays off the lawn until the grass looks visibly dry.
Most manufacturers of the liquid fertilizers suggest using water along with the fertilizer so that it dissolves better in the soil. Once the lawn dries, it indicates that the water and fertilizer both have either been absorbed into the soil or evaporated.
If you followed the manufacturer’s instructions perfectly, then there shouldn’t be any residual fertilizer left on the grass blades.
So, if you want a happy and healthy dog and a beautiful lawn, then makes sure that you use only safe and as far as possible only natural pet friendly fertilizers on your lawn.