Keeping Pets Safe: Guide To Weed Killer and Pet Safety

When it comes to maintaining a weed-free lawn, choosing weed killers that are safe for pets is important. Natural herbicides are a great alternative to traditional weed killers. Many traditional weed killers contain ingredients that can be harmful to pets. That's why pet-friendly options are available to effectively control weeds without posing a risk to your furry friends.
Keeping Pets Safe: Guide to Weed Killer and Pet Safety

Understanding the Risks of Weed Killers

Weed killer and pet safety

Pet owners need to be aware of the potential risks that weed killers can pose to their pets, so they can make an informed decision when choosing a product to eliminate weeds.

Common Ingredients in Weed Killers and Their Effects on Pets

Weed killers often contain ingredients like glyphosate and paraquat, which can be harmful to pets. Glyphosate is a herbicide commonly found in weed killers and has been linked to various health issues in pets, including gastrointestinal upset, respiratory problems and even death. Paraquat is another widely used herbicide that can cause severe toxicity in pets, leading to symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea and difficulty breathing. It's important to be aware of these ingredients and their potential effects on your pets.

How Pets are Exposed to Weed Killers

Pets can be exposed to weed killers in several ways. One common way is through contact with treated areas. When pets walk or play on a lawn or garden that has been treated with weed killer, the chemicals can transfer to their paws and fur. Pets can then ingest these chemicals when they groom themselves.

Another way pets can be exposed is through ingesting large quantities of the weed killer due to it being left in a place where your pet can easily reach it. If a pet ingests large quantities of weed killer, it can lead to serious health problems. It's important to take precautions to minimize your pet's exposure to weed killers and ensure their safety.

Identifying Safe Weed Killers

Pet-safe weed killer

Identifying safe weed killers for pets involves reading label directions and looking for certain certifications. It’s important to carefully follow the instructions on the weed killer label to ensure proper and safe use.

Characteristics of Pet-Friendly Weed Killers

Pet-friendly weed killers have certain characteristics that make them safer for pets to be around. Look for products that are specifically labeled as pet-friendly or safe for pets. Here are some features to look for:

  • Use of Natural Ingredients: Pet-friendly weed killers often use natural ingredients instead of harsh chemicals.

  • Avoidance of Common Toxins: These weed killers avoid ingredients such as glyphosate and paraquat that are known to be harmful to pets.

  • Safety Measures: Pet-friendly weed killers may have safety measures in place, such as requiring pets to stay off treated areas for a certain period of time.

  • Certifications: Look for weed killers that have certifications from reputable organizations, such as the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), indicating that they are safe for pets.

Torched Weed Killer

One example of a pet-friendly weed killer is Torched Weed Killer. This product is derived from natural ingredients that are safe for pets and the environment. With Torched, you can eliminate weeds without the use of toxic chemicals. It effectively kills weeds without posing a risk to your furry friends when used as directed.

Application Tips for Pet Owners Using Weed Killer

When using weed killer around pets, it’s important to take certain precautions to ensure their safety. Here are some application tips for pet owners:

  • Follow Label Directions: Read and follow the instructions on the weed killer label carefully to ensure safe and effective use.

  • Consider Weather Conditions: Choose a day to apply weed killer when the weather is calm and there is no rain in the forecast.

  • Keep Pets Away: Keep pets off of treated areas until the weed killer has dried or as instructed on the label.

  • Use a Spray Bottle: For natural DIY weed killers like vinegar mixed with water, use a spray bottle to target specific areas, ensuring effective application and safety for pets.

  • Store Weed Killer Properly: Keep weed killer in a secure location out of reach of pets to prevent accidental ingestion or exposure.

Alternatives to Chemical Weed Killers

Hand weeding

If you prefer to avoid using chemical weed killers altogether, there are alternative methods available. These alternatives can be effective in controlling pesky weeds while being safe for pets and the environment.

Consider trying manual weeding techniques or using homemade solutions to keep your lawn and garden weed-free.

Manual Weeding Techniques

Manual weeding is a safe and effective way to control weeds without the use of chemicals. Here are some manual weeding techniques to try:

  • Hand Weeding: Use your hands to pull weeds out by their roots. This method is most effective when done regularly and when the soil is moist.

  • Hoeing: Use a garden hoe to cut weeds off at the soil surface. This method is effective for larger areas or when dealing with stubborn weeds.

  • Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch, such as wood chips or straw, to smother weeds and prevent their growth.

Homemade Solutions

There are several homemade solutions that can be effective in controlling weeds. Here are some options to consider:

  • Vinegar: Diluted vinegar can be used as a weed killer. Apply it directly to the weeds, being careful to avoid desirable plants.

  • Boiling Water: Pouring boiling water over weeds can kill them. Be cautious when handling boiling water to avoid burns.

  • Salt: Salt can be sprinkled on weeds to kill them, but be mindful that it can also harm desirable plants and affect soil health.

Recognizing Signs of Poisoning in Pets

It's important to be able to recognize the signs of poisoning in pets in case of accidental exposure to weed killers.


Symptoms may vary depending on the type and amount of exposure, but common signs of poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, difficulty breathing, seizures, lethargy and changes in behavior.

If you suspect that your pet has been exposed to weed killers or other toxic substances, it's important to seek veterinary attention immediately. Time is of the essence when it comes to treating poisoning, and the sooner you can get your pet to an animal hospital or veterinarian, the better their chances of recovery. Be sure to inform the veterinarian about the potential exposure to weed killers, so they can provide the appropriate treatment.

Immediate Steps to Take if Poisoning is Suspected

If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned by weed killers, it's crucial to take immediate action to ensure their safety. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, the first step is to stop further exposure. Remove the possible source from your pet's environment, or remove your pet from the area where they were exposed to the weed killer.

It's important to contact your veterinarian right away for further guidance and to let them know about the potential poisoning.

Professional Advice on Weed Control and Pet Safety

When it comes to weed control and pet safety, seeking professional advice can be invaluable. If you're hiring a landscaper to maintain your lawn or garden, it's important to choose professionals who prioritize pet-friendly lawn care practices.

Landscapers with experience in pet-friendly landscaping can help design and maintain a yard that minimizes the use of harmful chemicals and creates a safe environment for pets. They can recommend pet-safe weed killers, implement safety measures to protect pets from treated areas and suggest alternative landscaping methods that reduce the risk of harm to animals. Working with landscapers who understand and prioritize pet safety will give you peace of mind knowing that your pets can enjoy your yard without being exposed to potentially harmful substances.

Weed Killer and Pet Safety

Furry friend

It's crucial to prioritize your pet's safety when using weed killers. Understand the risks associated with common ingredients and how pets can be exposed. Opt for pet-friendly weed killers or explore natural alternatives to chemical options. Recognize the signs of poisoning and know the immediate steps to take if poisoning is suspected. Seek professional advice for informed decision making.

By following best practices and precautions, you can maintain a weed-free yard or garden while keeping your beloved pets safe and healthy.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about Torched, you can email us at or call 800-608-3755. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to be the first to know about more lawn and garden info like this!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the safest times to apply weed killer around pets?

The safest times to apply weed killer around pets are when weather conditions allow for quick drying of the product. Follow the label directions for specific guidance on application and safety measures. The good news is that pet-safe weed killers are available, so you can still take care of the weed problem without compromising your pet's safety.

How long after spraying weed killer is the yard safe for pets?

The safety of pets after spraying weed killer depends on various factors, such as the specific product, safety measures taken, weather conditions and label directions. It's generally a good idea to wait until the treated area is completely dry before allowing pets back into the area. Following the label directions and taking necessary safety measures will help ensure your pet's well-being.

What weed killer is safe for humans and pets?

There are pet-safe weed killers available that are also safe for humans. Look for products that use natural ingredients and are specifically labeled as pet-friendly or safe for use around animals. Some products may also have certifications, such as being certified organic, which can further assure their safety. Torched Weed Killer is safe for humans and pets when used as directed.

About The Author

Mike Usry

Mike Usry

This was written by Mike Usry, the President of Southland Organics. Mike is an entrepreneur and soil enthusiast with a passion for educating on agriscience-based topics to help business owners and homeowners alike grow plants, turf, poultry and more. Mike received his Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Georgia and his MBA from the University of South Florida. The combination of his education and experience has given him a deep understanding of both business and the science behind our products. Mike founded Southland Organics in 2009.

Learn more about Mike Usry

Erin Flowers

Copywriter and Editor

This was edited by Erin Flowers. As a writer and editor, Erin keeps a close eye on the details. Erin thoroughly researches each topic, fact checking and source searching to give our readers helpful resources for raising chickens, homesteading, and growing lawns and gardens. Erin graduated from the University of Georgia with a bachelor's degree in advertising. She began working with Southland Organics in 2018.

Learn more about Erin Flowers

Erin Flowers
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