Pets and Your Lawn
Pets are like one of the family and their health and safety should be considered along with that of our own children.
Because pets enjoy rolling in the grass and are indiscriminate tasters of everything, including grass–you must think safety first. The lawn care professionals at Bob Short’s LawnAmerica take proper precaution everyday as part of their job. Likewise, if you’re a do-it-yourselfer, and undertake the chore of applying lawn chemicals, you too, need to be aware of product applications, and their safe use and storage.
Lawn care products are designed and tested for safe residential use. Nevertheless, they are chemicals and must be applied according to the packaged directions and precautions. Pet owners must minimize exposure of these chemicals to their animals.
Never over-apply or use a product that is not needed.
Determine what kinds of insect or weed you are trying to control. Always use the correct control measure or product.
The greatest risk of adverse affects to a pet from lawn care products comes from pets lapping from a puddle (or consuming a large amount of granules) of an improperly diluted or undiluted product, especially from a concentrated product in the original container. Keep all concentrated products in their original containers and stored in a safe place in your garage.
If the material is applied as a liquid spray, wait until it is dry before allowing your pet back onto the lawn. If the applied product is a dry granular material, watering it down is recommended but not immediately necessary. Follow all label directions and always store pesticide products out of the reach of children and pets.
Like people, pets can come down with common illnesses that need medical attention or professional advice. If an illness strikes after the use of lawn care products, many people assume the product was the cause. Your veterinarian is responsible for objectively evaluating exposures and attempting to determine whether the illness is due to contact with any chemical(s) used or due to another disease process. However, sometimes it is difficult for the veterinarian to differentiate chemical effects from disease processes without the proper information. Make sure your veterinarian has all the information about the products used including the product label.
Remember that the level of risk posed by any chemical depends on its toxicity and the level of exposure. Improper or inappropriate use of lawn or household chemicals by anyone can increase the level of exposure, which in turn may increase the level of risk posed to your pets.
Use common sense and always put safety first. If you follow proper turf management practices, you, your family and your pets can enjoy a healthy lawn and reap the many rewards it provides.