Homeowners typically have two major concerns whenever they want to clear their lawns of weeds using a herbicide: whether the product is pet-safe, and whether it’ll kill the turf grass as well. As such, the most desirable weed killers are those that are both pet-safe and selective (won’t kill grass).
Is there a pet safe weed killer that won’t kill grass?
Some herbicides don’t kill grass and are also pet-friendly. These products are specially-formulated to only kill certain types of plants (like broadleaf weeds), with the active ingredients also being of low toxicity to animals. Ideally, you should think of pet-friendly weed killers in two forms:
- Those that pose no threat to pets even when contact occurs immediately after application.
- Those that are toxic to pets right after application, but pose no threat after drying up (which is usually a short while after).
And as for herbicides that don’t harm grass, remember that most of them only kill broadleaf weeds. If a herbicide can kill grassy weeds like crabgrass, it’ll likely kill desirable turf varieties like Bermuda grass and Bahia grass as well.
Top 7 Pet-Safe Weed Killers that Won’t Harm Grass
The best pet-safe, selective weed killers typically contain active ingredients with very low toxic levels, making them harmless if inhaled by dogs and cats. Some of the best pet-safe, selective herbicides include Isoxaben 75WD, Alligare Triclopyr 4, Espoma Weed Preventer Plus Lawn Food, Weedol Concentrated Lawn Weedkiller, and Miracle-Gro Evergreen Weed & Moss Control.
Isoxaben 75WD is a pre-emergent, selective herbicide that prevents up to 95 different types of broadleaf weeds from sprouting on your lawn without doing any damage to grasses. Common examples of weeds that it effectively controls include dandelion, lambsquarter, clover, and chickweed. Isoxaben 75WD is a pet-friendly herbicide product, as pets can safely step onto the lawn as soon as 12-hours post-application.
Being as it’s a pre-emergent weed killer, Isoxaben 75WD is best applied in early spring before the emergence of weeds. The water-dispersible granules contain 75% Isoxaben, a common herbicide ingredient. Once mixed with water inside a spraying can, each pound of Isoxaben can provide weed protection in up to 32,000 square feet of lawn area.
Alligare Triclopyr 4
Alligare Triclopyr 4 is a post-emergent, selective weed killer, thus won’t kill turf grass or conifers. What’s more, pets can safely walk on a lawn that’s been treated with this product as soon as the turf dries up. Alligare Triclopyr 4 contains 61.6% Triclopyr, a powerful, selective herbicide that kills various types of lawn weeds including burdock, vetch, and ragweed.
When applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions, you’ll notice the weeds wilting within 4-5 days. However, this may take longer, depending on the type of weed. If your initial application of Alligare Triclopyr 4 doesn’t kill all weeds, a repeat application may be necessary.
Espoma Weed Preventer plus Lawn Food
Espoma Weed Preventer Plus Lawn Food is a pre-emergent herbicide that effectively protects turfs against several types of weeds including giant foxtail, dandelion, and redroot pigweed. And since it contains 9% nitrogen, not only will it not kill your turf grass, but will also feed it with this essential macronutrient.
Espoma Weed Preventer Plus Lawn Food is best applied in early spring and early fall before weeds sprout. 20-pounds of Espoma is enough to protect up to 1000 square feet of turf against weeds. Application of this weed and feed product should be followed by lawn irrigation for maximum efficacy.
Note: Espoma Weed Preventer is arguably one of the most pet-friendly, selective herbicides on the market, as pets can step on the turf immediately after it’s applied.
Weedol Concentrated Lawn Weedkiller
Weedol Concentrated Lawn Weedkiller is generally pet-friendly, as your dogs and cats can safely play on a lawn treated with this product once it dries up. This selective herbicide effectively kills stubborn weed varieties like dandelion, clover, and daisies without burning turfgrass.
Weedol Concentrated Lawn Weedkiller is sold as a liquid concentrate and should be diluted as per the manufacturer’s guidelines before use. Don’t use this systemic weed killer if rain was forecast within the next 24 hours. Meanwhile, avoid watering until 24-48 hours post-application to allow enough time for the herbicide to stick to the weed roots.
Miracle-Gro Evergreen Weed & Moss Control
Miracle-Gro Evergreen Weed & Moss Control is more of a weed and feed product than a pure herbicide. While it won’t eliminate existing weeds, it suppresses weed seeds in your lawn soil from sprouting. The active ingredients in this product, Mecoprop-P, and MCPA, have negligible toxicity levels, thus pets can walk on the lawn immediately after its application.
Miracle-Gro Evergreen Weed & Moss Control not only inhibits the emergence of certain broadleaf weeds but also blackens and kills moss. Your lawn should be totally moss-free within 3-5 weeks post-application. Miracle-Gro Evergreen is also infused with nitrogen and potassium nutrients to boost the health and growth of your turf.
Resolva Lawn Weed Killer
Resolva Lawn Weed Killer is a selective herbicide that contains two active ingredients: dicamba and Mecoprop-P. You can use this product to eliminate a wide variety of broadleaf weeds such as yarrow, speedwell, and dandelion. Children and pets can step on the lawn once the Resolva spray dries up on the lawn, making it a pet-friendly product.
Resolva Lawn Weed Killer works by attacking the roots of the invasive weeds. After about two weeks, the active ingredients cause the weed shoots to appear distorted. And from the third-fourth week post-application, the weeds begin to die.
Note: Only use this product on established lawns, as it can cause damage to young turf grass that’s still developing.
Ortho Weed B Gon plus Crabgrass Control Concentrate2
Ortho Weed B Gon is formulated to kill over 200 types of weeds (including tall nettle, poison ivy, and lambsquarters) without harming turf grass. This selective weed killer is a pet-safe product, thus you can allow your pets to come back to the lawn once it dries up completely. Take note, though, that the drying time varies depending on environmental factors.
Ortho Weed B Gon is sold as a liquid concentrate and should be diluted at a rate of 2.5-fl.oz per gallon of water for every 400 square feet of turf. Also, despite being safe for use on most turfgrasses, it’s advisable to avoid using this product if you’re growing Bahia grass, Centipede grass, or Bentgrass; due to the higher chances of turf damage.
Is Glyphosate safe for pets?
Glyphosate is not a pet-friendly product and is toxic to dogs and cats if consumed on lawns. If your pet is drooling, vomiting, or suffering from diarrhea right after coming from the lawn where you just recently applied a glyphosate herbicide, it’s likely that the animal is suffering from glyphosate poisoning.
Other symptoms of glyphosate toxicity in pets include sleepiness, stomach upsets, and loss of appetite after returning from playing in the lawn. A common herbicide that has glyphosate as the main active ingredient in Roundup. When using Roundup on your lawn, make sure you keep your pets away from the area until the herbicide droplets on the grass and plants dry up completely.
- National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC): Glyphosate General fact Sheet
- US EPA: Pesticide Product Label, ALLIGARE TRICLOPYR 4 directions for use.