A warning about lawn chemicals and pets


If you need further evidence that applying herbicides to your lawn is a bad idea, an article my vet just sent me about a possible link between some commonly used lawn herbicides and an increased incidence of bladder cancer in dogs should provide it.
What is perhaps most frightening about the research conducted at Purdue University and the University of North Carolina is that in half of the cases traces of the chemicals were found in a dog's urine even when the dog's owner DID NOT apply the chemicals to their yard, raising a red flag about herbicide drift or contact with the chemicals when a dog is out for a walk. Evidence of the chemicals was found in yards a full 48 hours after they were applied.
If you use a lawn service, demand to know what they're putting on your lawn and err on the side of caution if they post a "safe when dry" flag on your lawn. If you're convinced you have no option but using an herbicide, try treating the front and back yards in alternate weeks.
The article is here:
http://vet.purdue.edu/pcop/herbicide-research.php
Photo via Andrew Smith/Flickr.

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3 of 10 comments
  • Jan M
    on Jul 30, 2013

    I just heard today a very interesting fact that I was not aware of. To all of us that save those coffee grounds. The water run off as well as the coffee is poison for pets. Caffeine is very toxic and highly poisonous for dogs and cats.

    • Catherine Smith
      on Aug 13, 2013

      @Jan M this is one of those areas where you need to use some common sense. If you're using coffee grounds around your landscaped areas, bury them. And control your dogs. Normally cats don't like the odor and is one way to keep them out of your flower beds, if they've decided it's a litter box.

  • Global Syn-Turf
    on Jan 20, 2015

    If this liability is becoming too irksome for anyone, an alternative is to install artificial grass in your lawn. We, Global Syn-Turf, have grasses and technologies especially made for pets -- and best of all, they require no harmful pesticides or fertilizers.

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