Lawns are the life and soul of your outside space. The kids play on it, the dog rolls on it, and you sunbathe on it. All this traffic means it needs extra help to look and be its best. But did you know that many fertilizer products contain toxic chemicals harmful to your pup? And sadly, some pet owners have found this out the hard way.
So, before you add any chemicals to your yard, you need to consider your children’s health, including Fido. While many organic products are available, they do not usually produce the same spectacular results as non-organic fertilizers. Dogs love natural products too much, digging them up and eating them. Dog-safe fertilizers balance the need for dog safety and stunning results.
Thankfully, there are a few pet-friendly fertilizer products available that can help you to achieve the lawn of your dreams. We have scoured the market for the best dog-safe fertilizers, each complete with an in-depth review to help you choose. So, let’s get started.
At A Glance: Our Favorite Dog Safe Fertilizer
Things To Remember
Although you could rely on labels stating that a product is dog-safe, it’s a much better idea to understand what makes a good dog-safe fertilizer and how to use it.
Look For Pet-Friendly Labels
The best place to start your search is to look for products that claim to be pet-friendly. There are so many fertilizing products out there, but few dog-safe ones. So looking for a pet-friendly label saves you a lot of time during your search. Please don’t assume that because there is an image of a child and a dog on the product, it is automatically child and dog friendly. Look for the words.
Ingredients To Avoid
Any fertilizer that uses insecticides, pesticides, and fungicides should be avoided. Fertilizers that contain baits for snails and slugs should also be avoided. These fertilizers usually contain compounds designed to lure them (which also attract dogs). The active ingredient is usually metaldehyde, which is highly poisonous.
Two other chemicals to avoid are ammonia, which causes paw, skin, and lung irritation, and disulfoton which is responsible for seizures and pancreatitis. Disulfoton is one of the most harmful chemicals found in fertilizers. For perspective, a 55-pound dog would only need to ingest a teaspoon of pesticide containing 1% disulfoton to experience poisoning.
Natural Doesn’t Always Mean Safe
Just because a product is 100% natural or organically EPA-certified doesn’t automatically mean it is safe to use. Some of these products contain natural chemicals that might harm your pooch. And they can still cause digestive issues if consumed in large quantities. Whatever product you use, be sure to monitor what Fido is up to after you’ve treated your lawn.
Follow The Instructions
You must follow the product instructions. For example, if the product says to treat the lawn and leave it for 24 hours, you must not let Fido on the lawn for 24 hours. Many pet-safe fertilizers say you can treat your yard and go on it straight after application. Pet-safe products are only pet-safe if you follow the instructions.
Fertilizer In Public Spaces
Many public spaces are treated with fertilizers, Roundup, and other products, which may not be dog-friendly. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you have been to a public area and notice any toxicity symptoms in your dog listed below.
Dog Safe Fertilizer
Not every dog owner has the exact lawn needs and budget. So here we review a selection of our favorite dog-safe fertilizers.
Sunday Care Plan
- Personalized lawn plan.
- Based on your soil, climate, and lawn.
- Free soil analysis.
- Hassle-free subscription service.
- Expert advice from real lawn consultants.
- Satisfaction guarantee.
Sunday Care Plan is a customizable subscription-based service that provides everything your lawn needs to thrive. Every product is pet and child-friendly, using all-natural ingredients. You have to complete a questionnaire based on your lawn and your habits, and they supply a soil test kit that they analyze. From there, they determine your lawn’s deficiencies and send you seasonal fertilizer. Your lawn’s needs and climate dictate shipment.
When you receive your fertilizer, all you need to do is spray it onto your lawn and wait for the next shipment. Typically, you receive three shipments every three to four months. You can easily make changes or cancel them anytime through your online account. Sure, it is a little pricier than other lawn products. But it is much cheaper than a professional full-service lawn care plan, which is effectively what Sunday offers.
We love that this fertilizer is based on the soil test results from your lawn, so you cannot get much more personalized than that. So you know your lawn is getting everything it needs while still being safe for Fido.
Scott's Natural Lawn Food
- Naturally derived ingredients.
- Can be used on any grass type and in any season.
- Safe for dogs and kids immediately.
- Builds a thick, green lawn in 1 to 3 weeks.
- Budget-friendly option.
Scott’s Natural Lawn Food is a great product that is safe for use around dogs and kids. It is made with natural and organic ingredients and is OMRI-listed for organic use. Designed for all grass types and any season, you can use this fertilizer without any planning. Scott’s suggests feeding your lawn four times a year, with at least six to eight weeks between each treatment.
Unlike some fertilizers, this product does not have an unpleasant smell which is a bonus. This fertilizer has a higher phosphorus count than others, which is why it is not allowed in some states (CT, FL, MD, ME, MN, NY, WA, and WI.) For this reason, you should not apply it near water. However, if higher phosphorus is what your lawn needs and many do, this is a great product.
We love that at only $0.08/ounce, this dog-safe fertilizer is one of the best budget-friendly options out there.
Safer Brand Lawn Restore
- Green lawns in 3 – 5 days.
- Dog and kid-friendly.
- For all-seasons.
- Long-lasting and non-burning.
- Promotes strong root development for a naturally healthier lawn.
Safe Brand has created this lawn fertilizer for every season, meaning this one bag is your quick, go-to lawn fertilizer. This is great for busy dog owners who haven’t got the time to plan seasonal lawn feedings, simply spread it and go. It is a natural lawn fertilizer that promotes soil vitality and root development. Longer and healthier roots mean the grass copes with stress much better, including tolerating Fido’s lawn activities.
Your children and pets can resume playtime straight after application, making it safe for the whole family. It is a non-burning, long-lasting formula that produces green results in three to five days. Which is one of the fastest-acting products on this list. This product is phosphate free too.
We love that this dog-friendly lawn fertilizer is designed for use throughout every season, which means one bag and less planning and effort for busy dog owners.
Epsoma Organic Lawn Food
- Organic fertilizer.
- Pet and children-friendly.
- Spring and winter options for optimal lawn nutrition.
- Established brand with over 90 years of experience.
Espoma is a well-known and trusted manufacturer established for over 90 years. This lawn feed contains feather meal, pasteurized poultry manure, and gypsum, all of which are organic ingredients. Customers state that the manure ingredient means there is an unfavorable smell. Thankfully, it only lasts a few days, and they are rewarded with a rich-green lawn.
This fertilizer is pet and children-safe, plus it is environmentally friendly. One bag of Espoma covers a 5,000-square-foot lawn. This product is a spring fertilizer, and there is also a winter fertilizer focusing on protecting and feeding your lawn through the colder months. This fertilizer guarantees no lawn burning, and it is long-lasting too.
We love that this fertilizer is enriched with calcium, making it ideal for lawns needing a calcium-rich formula while still being safe for your dog.
GreenView Turf Nurture
- Dog and child-friendly.
- Natural-based lawn fertilizer.
- Promotes root growth and soil renewal.
- Can be applied in spring, summer, and fall.
- Handy small bag for 2,500 square foot coverage.
GreenView Turf Nurture is a natural-based lawn fertilizer rich in organic materials that gives your lawn the nutrient boost it needs while keeping your dog safe. This pet-safe fertilizer covers 2,500 square feet, meaning you can try this product without having to shell out on a huge bag. You can use it in spring, summer, and fall, just as long as there is no chance of the ground freezing.
This product focuses on bringing tired lawns back to life thanks to its restoration focus. Stressed lawns and poor root systems benefit greatly from this product, making dull spots a thing of the past. Plus, it is a long-lasting fertilizer that contains 70% slow-release nitrogen. Results show in four to six weeks. Use this product as directed for ultimate dog safety.
We love that this fertilizer comes in a small 8-pound bag making it an ideal option for dog owners with smaller gardens.
Symptoms Of Fertilizer Poisoning In Dogs
By picking a dog-safe fertilizer, you should avoid fertilizer poisoning altogether. But it’s still essential to make yourself aware of the symptoms, just in case. It’s important to remember that every dog reacts differently to different chemicals, but the main symptoms of fertilizer poisoning in dogs include the following:
- Muscle tremors
- Abnormal heart rate
- Excessive urination
- Excessive tearing
- Difficulty breathing
If you suspect that your dog is reacting to fertilizer and they are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you need to call your vet immediately. Do not wait to see what happens because poisoning can be fatal, giving you less time to save your beloved pup. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is available 24/7, 365 days a year, and is the best resource for any animal poison-related emergency.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why Are Some Fertilizers Dangerous For Dogs?
Many fertilizers rely on the use of chemicals to improve the condition of lawns. Unfortunately, these chemicals are not always safe for pets. Some chemicals irritate, and some cause severe seizures, paralysis, and cardiac arrest, to name just a few. Treating your lawn with harmful chemicals and letting Fido roll around in them or potentially eating them can have fatal consequences.
What’s The Most Toxic Fertilizer For Dogs?
No one fertilizer is the most toxic for dogs. Toxicity depends on a host of factors, such as the chemical itself, your dog’s interaction with it, the size of your pooch, and more. Unless a product states it is pet-friendly, you should avoid it altogether.
What If My Dog Eats The Dog-Safe Fertilizer?
Dogs are pesky creatures, and they eat anything they can get their paws on. Whether they break into the container or eat the grass after you’ve treated it, you need to keep an eye on them. Although dog-safe fertilizer is not toxic, it still contains chemicals that could lead to stomach upset. If you suspect your dog has eaten dog-safe fertilizer, you need to monitor them and look for toxicity symptoms listed above. Contact your vet immediately if you observe any of these symptoms or abnormal behavior.
Call your vet regardless of symptoms if you suspect they have come into contact with an unknown, non-safe fertilizer. Waiting for symptoms could take away precious time to save your pup. Try to rinse their coat and paws to prevent them from licking or consuming potentially dangerous chemicals.
What About Organic Alternatives?
Many gardeners choose organic fertilizers because they are a more natural option and provide results. However, they don’t usually work as well as other fertilizers. Plus, organic fertilizers such as seaweed, blood meal, fish meal, and manure are appetizing for Fido. Many dogs dig them up and try to eat them, which ruins the lawn. Plus, in large amounts, these organic-based fertilizers can cause extreme stomach upset.
There you have it, a list of top-performing dog-safe fertilizers to help you reach your grass goals. Remember to pick a product that mentions it is dog-safe in the description and follow the instructions. All of the products above are listed as safe for Fido and have brilliant customer reviews, so you can be sure your lawn and pooch are safe.