The term "weed and feed" refers to products that contain a combination of fertilizer and herbicides. While these products can help nourish your lawn and keep the weeds at bay, they can harm your pets if used improperly.
Keep Pets Away
Before applying weed and feed products, water the lawn so that the fertilizers and herbicides will adhere to it. Wait 24 to 48 hours before watering the lawn again after application. During this period, keep your pets off of any areas treated with these chemicals so that they don't get it on their fur or ingest plants treated with toxins. After you water the lawn, the chemicals will be washed from the foliage and absorbed into the soil and roots of plants, making your yard safe for pets again.
Possible Effects of Exposure
If your pets encounter freshly applied powdered or wet weed and feed on your lawn, they could eat the plants containing the toxins or lick it off of their fur. According to a study published in the July 2013 edition of "The Science of the Total Environment," exposure to herbicide-treated lawns can increase a dog's risk of developing bladder cancer. Ingesting these fertilizers or herbicides can cause stomach upset or more severe symptoms in pets, warns the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Visit your vet if you suspect your pet has ingested any weed and feed in your yard.
- Menards: What to Know About Weed and Feed Fertilizer
- American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: ASPCA Guide to Pet-Safe Gardening
- Pet Poison Helpline: Summer Pet Poisons
- The Science of the Total Environment: Detection of Herbicides in the Urine of Pet Dogs Following Home Lawn Chemical Application
- Lowe's: Care for Your Lawn Safely
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.