How To Find Pet-Safe Weed Killer

Plus our top pet-friendly weed killer picks.

pet safe weed killer

Not loving the weeds that sprout up in your yard and garden? You want to get rid of them quickly, but you should make sure that whatever you use isn’t dangerous for your pet.

So what should you be looking for, exactly?

The best pet-safe weed killer is made with natural ingredients and is free of harmful things like iron and insecticide, according to Jamie Fischer, a registered veterinary nurse with DodoVet. Here are our top picks:

Is weed killer safe for pets?

Typical weed killers aren’t safe for dogs because they contain poisonous chemicals, like glyphosate. There are a lot of pet-safe weed killers out there, but you should still follow the instructions on these products closely to make sure you don’t harm your pet.

“Weeds and vegetation treated with herbicides properly are typically considered low risk for toxicity in pets,” Fischer told The Dodo. “However, herbicides can be toxic to pets in large doses, like if your dog chewed into a bottle, the product was sprayed directly on them, or they are munching on freshly treated weeds.”

How to find pet-safe weed killer

Finding a pet-safe weed killer is all about knowing what’s inside the bottle you’re buying.

Ingredients to look for

According to Fischer, natural ingredients like these are ideal for pet-safe weed killers:

“These ingredients do not pose a risk for severe toxicity but could still cause gastrointestinal (GI) upset or skin/eye irritation if your pet is exposed to a large amount,” Fischer said.

And you don’t always have to choose between these base ingredients.

“In my opinion, a combination of corn gluten and vinegar will be more effective weed control than one ingredient over the other,” Fischer said. “Both ingredients are safe for pets to be exposed to.”

But a weed killer with just one of those ingredients as its base is still good, too.

“I prefer a weed killer with vinegar as the vinegar will often deter curious pets from ingesting the product or weeds themselves,” Fischer said.

Ingredients to avoid

A 2013 study found that certain lawn care products can increase your dog’s risk of developing canine malignant lymphoma.

According to Fischer, here are some weed killer ingredients pet parents should absolutely avoid:

  • 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid: can lead to GI upset, anorexia, lethargy, tremors, ataxia and seizures
  • 4-chloro-2-methylphenoxy propionic acid: can lead to GI upset, abdominal discomfort, ataxia and tremors
  • Glyphosates: can lead to GI upset and is considered a possible carcinogen
  • Iron: can lead to GI upset and ulceration as well as cardiovascular and liver effects
  • Insecticide: can lead to GI upset, drooling, nausea, vomiting, and can even be life-threatening

Best pet-safe weed killer options

We rounded up a few of the best pet-safe weed killers to make your search that much easier.

Best overall pet-safe weed killer: Green Gobbler Weed & Grass Killer

This pet-safe weed killer is made with 20 percent vinegar. It’s also corn-based, so there are a lot of natural ingredients that are safe for your BFF. It’s also certified by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), which identifies organic products.

Best vinegar-only formula: Natural Elements Weed Killer

This one’s also a vinegar-based formula that uses salt to effectively get rid of weeds in a way that’s safe for your pet. It can clear up your weeds within one to five days, depending on how hot it is in your area.

Best preventative: Preen Natural Weed Preventer

If you’re looking for a safe way to stop weeds before they start, this weed preventer is for you. It’s made with corn gluten and lasts four to six weeks. Plus, your pet will be OK to play in the area pretty soon after you apply this weed preventer.

Now that you know which weed killer is safe for your pet, you can tend to your yard free of stress.

Want access to a vet 24/7? With DodoVet, you can connect via video chat, phone or text with an empathetic veterinary expert who can help you be the best pet parent you can be. Say goodbye to Dr. Google and have all your pet parent questions answered anytime, anywhere. Learn more here.

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