We understand that there are many people out there that take a lot of pride in their lawns and gardens – and rightly so.
Dog owners in particular should have a plan to protect and care for their lawn and grass if they want to ensure it stays looking nice.
But, if you’re a pet owner, it’s probably also highly important to you that any lawn and garden supplies you use are safe for you, your family and your pets.
In this guide we discuss dog friendly fertilizers for your lawn, grass and garden.
Let’s talk about fertilisers …
(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)
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Pet & Dog Friendly Fertilizer: What You Might Look For
What Is Fertilizer, and Why Is It Important?
Fertilizer usually comes in pellets/granules, or as a spray.
Grass and lawns get carbon, hydrogen and oxygen from the soil and water naturally.
But, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are only obtained through fertiliser (at least as a main or consistent source).
What Types Of Fertilisers Are There? – Organic vs Synthetic
When it comes to picking a fertilizer, you’re basically choosing between organic and synthetic.
We outline the differences between the two in this guide.
As a summary, organic fertilisers contain mainly non chemically processed materials, and take longer to release nutrients into the soil and grass.
What Safety Risk Might Fertilisers Pose For Pets?
A vet, and also the usage instructions and warnings of a fertilizer packet might give you the best indication of risks for use around pets.
But, some general information …
Insecticides and snail bait are usually the garden and lawn treatments that pose the biggest risks to pets.
Most fertilisers are generally going to reasonably safe for most pets and dogs as long as you apply them to your lawn, apply water and let them dissolve into the soil first.
Keep your dog inside while applying the fertiliser.
Most times when there is an issue its because the bag has been left lying around unattended and the dog has got into it and ate the fertilizer directly.
This usually results in vomiting and diarrhea (and sometimes more serious symptoms) for a few days until things correct themselves.
Watch out for ingredients like organophosphates or carbamates (insecticides), and high amounts of iron which can result in iron poisoning.
But, ALWAYS read the instructions for application and any warnings before use. See a vet if you have any concerns for the fertilizer or your pets react negatively to it.
Because of the smell, some dogs go crazy for wanting to eat some fertilizers.
Safety Reminders For Using Fertilisers & Pets/Dogs
The fertilizer manufacturer should provide safety warning on their product packaging.
But, a few general safety reminders:
When fertilizing your lawn, be sure to water the product after application. It is usually then safe for pets to enter – but, most products will say you should wait 24-72 hours.
Always follow directions of use of fertiliser packaging
Pay attention to and follow any warnings on the label
Never let your dog eat the fertiliser – make sure it dissolves into the grass, or your dog stays away from it unsupervised
Lock fertiliser bags away in a shed your dog can’t access
If for any reason you think your dog might have issues with a particular fertiliser – see your vet about how to best proceed
Disolfuton is a pesticide commonly used to protect roses – which might be found in some fertilisers. It’s extremely toxic to animals, causing everything from diarrhea to seizures. Watch out for this pesticide.
I Want A Pet Friendly and Dog Safe Fertiliser – Which One Should I Get?
As we wrote in an earlier guide on fertiliser for dog urine spots on lawns, organic fertiliser might be the best fertiliser for the long term health of your lawn.
But, that can depend on your location, your soil, and your garden and lawn conditions.
Make the decision that is best for your lawn and your pet (and kids). Read the ingredients list thoroughly along with warnings.
Do a pH test on your soil first, and know what the fertilizer you are adding is going to do for your soil. Read what the fertilizer is suppose to be applied to – what type of plants or lawns.
Something like Jobe’s Organics All Purpose Fertilizer (on Amazon) is an organic fertilizer that is suppose to be ‘safe for use around children and pets’. They have a guaranteed analysis of the ingredients on the bag.
You can check out other organic fertilisers on Amazon.
Other options for potentially dog friendly fertilizers might be composts, manures, and other fertilizers composed of organic matter, without processed/synthetic ingredients.
Further Resources On Fertilisers and Dog Safety
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