Is your garden overrun by weeds? Are you thinking about using herbicide to fix the problem?

If you answered yes to both of these questions, then you probably know that most weed killers contain harsh chemicals that could be harmful to pets.

Therefore, your yard should be off-limits for some time after using weed killers to keep your four-legged friends safe. So if you are wondering how long to keep dogs off the grass after weed killer usage, we have all the information you need.

Dog on grass

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What Makes Weed Killers Dangerous?

Most commercial weed killers are packed with powerful chemicals that help with weed control. They are efficient and deliver outstanding results. The majority of them are safe for pets and humans. They don’t stay in the soil or on grass for long.

However, some weed killers contain methyl-4 chlorophenoxyacetic acid and diquat dibromide – chemicals that are highly toxic to pets.

Those of you wondering if a weed killer can kill dogs, the answer is: not exactly. But it can lead to numerous health problems that could have a fatal outcome.

The researchers dove deeper into the long term effects weed killers could have on animal health and have uncovered a couple of interesting findings. So these chemicals could hurt your pet in the long run.

The Risks

Pesticides and herbicides could lead to your pet having various health problems. After all, it takes a while for chemicals to be absorbed. If your dog is running around the yard, the chances are it might accidentally ingest the chemicals. It is hard to say how long after spraying pesticides is it safe for pets, but keep them away from the yard for at least 24 hours.

You can see right away if your dog had ingested the weed killer. It will start vomiting, breathing heavily, and shivering.

Those are common signs of poisoning, so getting it to the vet should be your number one priority.

There might be some chemical burns around the nose, mouth, and paws too. Prolonged chemical exposure might lead to cancer, diarrhea, dehydration, fertility problems, etc.

The Prevention

Dogs love to eat grass, and your furry friend is probably no different. You can either use pet-safe weed killers or keep your dog away from the lawn. The former could be tricky, but it is not impossible.

Finding a weed killer that is pet-safe includes reading a lot of labels and identifying chemicals that cause cancer.

So watch out for weed killers that contain the following ingredients: borax, arsenic trioxide, sodium arsenite, ammonium sulfamate, and metaldehyde.

There are always DIY options, namely a more natural weed killer such as vinegar. You can also keep your dog off the lawn, but make sure you wash its belly regularly, especially if you suspect that it came into contact with treated grass.

Your dog could lick the chemicals off its fur and ingest them that way. Also, move its food and water bowls as far away from the lawn as possible.

How Long to Keep Dogs Off Grass After Weed Killer?

If you are asking yourself how long after lawn treatment is it safe for pets, the general answer would be to keep them away for at least 30 hours.

It is hard to give an exact estimate since there are so many different brands out there. Not to forget that the size of the yard and the temperature play an important role.

If you happen to have a big lawn to cover, we encourage you to read this article all about the best weed killers for large areas.

Most herbicides or pesticides do not provide this information on their labels but make sure your dog is not running around until the chemicals have dried down. It usually happens within the first 24 hours.

Once again, wait a bit longer to make sure your pet doesn’t get a chance to ingest the chemicals.

For instance, Roundup is probably the most popular herbicide in the world. Unfortunately, it contains glyphosate, a chemical that is not pet-safe.

Those of you who decide to use this product are probably trying to find out how long to keep animals away from Roundup.

The manufacturers say that you should wait until it is dry, and then it is okay for your dog. However, it doesn’t hurt to wait at least 48 hours just to be on the safe side.

Alternatives to Weed Killers

There are natural alternatives to weed killers you could use, but remember they might not be as powerful as store-bought herbicides and pesticides. On the other hand, natural weed killers will allow you to experiment. It means you can combine different natural mixtures and get great results.

I bet you didn’t know that cornmeal is excellent when it comes to weed prevention. Combine it with salt, and your garden will be free of weeds.

Vinegar tops the list of natural weed killers list because it is safe for pets and is a favorite among many gardeners. It does the job quickly if you have a small number of unwanted plants in your yard.

In case you are dealing with heavy weeds, spray vinegar several times, and do it generously. The smell might not be pleasant, but it is perfectly safe for your pets.

Sugar is also an alternative. Unfortunately, the results are not long-lasting. It does wonders for both weeds and pests almost instantly. Spray the ground with the solution containing sugar, and you are good to go.

If you are dealing with pests, add some chili pepper into the mix, and repeat the previous step. It is good to mention that you will need a lot of sugar for this, regardless of the size of your yard.

Summary

How long to keep your dog off the grass after weed killer is one of the burning questions among gardening enthusiasts who are also pet owners. Using herbicides is sometimes a must, but there are ways to keep your pet safe.

Not all weed killers contain harmful chemicals that stay in the soil and on plants, so make sure you read the labels and know which ingredients to watch out for.

Herbicides work fast, so your dog won’t have to stay away from your lawn for too long. But taking precautions is recommended.