All Things Dog

Dog-Friendly Lawn Care

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Dogs just love grass. They love to roll in it, play on it, even snack on it. That's why it's important to pay attention to the lawn care products you choose. Chemical fertilizers and herbicides actually post health risks right on their labels, but some dog owners don't take the time to read them. Which is why poison hotlines receive countless calls about dogs getting sick after exposure to chemically treated lawns.

These tips can help keep your yard dog friendly

Read the label when purchasing lawn and garden products. Make sure you use them as directed.

Wash your dog's paws after exposure to a treated lawn. Some lawn and garden chemicals can irritate paws, and if your pooch then licks his paws, he can become ill.

Post signs if you use any potentially toxic lawn chemicals. This will alert other dog owners to keep their dogs away.

Store unused products in an area inaccessible to your dog. This is common sense, but it's worth mentioning—and remembering.

Water your lawn before and after fertilizing. Watering before allowing pets or children on any treated lawn is a good idea because water helps break down the chemicals. Afterward, keep pets away from treated areas until the treatments have dried completely.

Avoid cocoa bean mulch. This type of mulch has a smell and taste that is very appealing to dogs. However, it contains theobromine (the same substance found in chocolate) and can be toxic.

Don't assume "natural" = safe. Remember, a commercial label that says "natural" does not guarantee the substance or product is safe for pets. No matter what you use, choose it carefully and always follow instructions about how and when the product should be applied.

Try alternative repellents. Neem oil, a vegetable oil extracted from the neem tree, can be applied directly on your dog to help ward off mosquitos. You can also use it in gardens to repel mosquitoes and to kill other insects, mites, and fungi.

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