Weeds are the natural enemy of any passionate gardener. But with furry paws in the picture, it can be hard to find an herbicide to get rid of your weeds without sending your pup to the emergency vet. Many herbicides use incredibly harsh chemicals to char or burn the roots of the invading plants, most of the time based around very heavy duty copper or nitrate blends.
Please remember that all products listed are as of this writing. Check with your veterinarian before purchasing or exposing your pet to any of these, since ingredients do change over time. There are a few good chemicals on the market, and one homeopathic remedy, that are pet safe. Most of them revolve around simple herbicides that are harmless acids to pets and humans, but incredibly deadly for the delicate roots of plants. Let’s look at the lot.
EcoSMART Organic Weed and Grass Killer
EcoSMART has an excellent product line up of not only weed killers, but other pest killers too. Caution on this one though: Anything you spray is going to die. Be careful spraying weeds in grassy areas that you wish to maintain, because this will kill that grass as well. If killing a weed in a grassy area, try laying a paper plate over the grass to hide it from the weed killer. Simply cut a hole for the weed to stick through and spray away.
This particular spray is a sodium, or salt, based spray that essentially dries the plant out. While it is perfectly safe for pets to be around, it’s still recommended that they don’t get into the habit of eating it or any plants effected by it. Upset tummies could occur if pets are allowed to munch on dying weeds.
For the bi-species household, this should be safe for most cats. Give your vet a quick call to double check, since cats are a little more specialized than dogs in cases like this.
Herbanatur A.D.I.O.S. Eco-Friendly Weed Control
Herbanatur’s ADIOS is not only pet safe, but it takes itself with a but of humor as well. This plant spray is based around sodium sulfates as the one above, though this one pairs itself with a number of botanical oils like clove oil that help the salt kick in even faster.
This should be perfectly safe for most healthy dogs and cats to be exposed to, but as stated in the former review, try not to let them eat the decaying plant matter. Hypernatremia, the ingestion of too concentrated a dose of salt, can be deadly to all living things. It’s better to be safe than sorry and this product should wash away even from soil content after a week or two. A quick swipe of your pet’s paws when they come in should be enough to keep them from licking off any product.
Woodstream Corporation Weed Prevent Plus
Want to get a jump on your weed problems? Before they happen? Woodstream’s Weed Prevent Plus is what you’re after. This is a cornmeal based pellet that melts into the ground and stops seeds from ever sprouting. This stays in effect for several months before vanishing, so be sure that your own plants have quite the start before you apply it.
This cornmeal pellet is completely child and pet friendly as it contains no chemical herbicides. This is as harmless as a pellet product can get and will not harm you even if you grind them down to make cornbread- though we certainly don’t recommend that.
We must note that this will not stop weeds that have already popped through the surface of the ground. If you choose to use this product, you must use another method for those plants. This is ideal for the gardener who starts their plants inside and wants to get rid of weeds before their babies’ roots are even in the ground.
Avenger Organic Weed Killer
Avenger’s Organic Weed Killer works with a common acid that you probably have in your home. You may even be drinking it’s predecessor as you read this article. Avenger uses citrus oil, a very strong relative of citric acid, used often by organic growers who are trying to persuade weeds to leave without much fuss.
While this may make some cats ill if they lick it off their paws, very few dogs will be effected by Avenger’s mixture. This product works by using the citrus oil to burn away both plant and roots with a few applications. Be aware, though, that this will probably kill other roots that it touches too.
For those with a good deal of land, Tenacity is your buddy. We must mention right here and now that pets and livestock should be kept off any ground this is absorbing into for up to 4 hours. Thus it is best done at night after all livestock and pets are in the house for the evening. After it dries, this is perfectly safe for all four footed and two footed pals.
Tenacity forces plants to stop producing chlorophyll, thus ultimately starving them to death even as they stand in full sun. Plants that will be effected by this product are available on it’s website or on the bottle labeling.
If you still aren’t quite comfortable using a chemical that’s been tested for safety around your pets, we completely understand. Boiling water of 200 degrees or higher will scorch plant roots when poured directly on the plant. However, be aware that this may also seep into surrounding plants and kill them as well. Be careful how you pour.
Our Favorite Dog Safe Weed Killer…
Simply put, nothing beats good old plain boiling water. But if you’ve already given that a try, the EcoSMART spray will work no matter how small or large your area and it’s incredibly cost effective and pet safe. That makes the EcoSMART the clear winner of today’s lineup.