How to kill weeds without harming your pets

Learn what to look for – and what to avoid – when shopping for a pet-friendly weed killer this summer.

Gardening season is in full swing, and pet parents everywhere are seeking quality products to kill pesky weeds without putting their animal companions in danger. This is no easy task, especially with all the competing brands and misleading marketing tactics at play. The key is to know what popular weed killer ingredients to steer clear of – and which pet-safe alternatives actually work – so you can make an informed purchase.

3 common ingredients in weed killers

A number of toxic ingredients found in weed killers can negatively affect your pet’s health. Here are three common1 culprits to avoid:

Dicamba – This toxic herbicide was developed when crops across the U.S. started becoming resistant to Glyphosate (see below). Dicamba has been linked to canine malignant lymphoma2, raising the risk by as much as 70 percent in some dogs following exposure, and may also increase their risk of developing bladder cancer.3

Glyphosate – The FDA reports that pets may be at risk of digestive or intestinal problems if they come into contract with plants that have just been sprayed with products containing glyphosate.4

Mecoprop (MCPP) – Exposure to Mecoprop often leads to vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort in pets. In severe cases, it can result in myotonia, ataxia, and tremors.5

Finding a pet-safe alternative

There are many ways to combat weeds without reaching for harmful chemicals. You can douse them in boiling water every time they surface, dig them all out by hand, or install landscape fabric under your flowerbeds. But these options are tedious and labor-intensive, and they’re robbing you of quality time you could be spending with your pet!

The alternative every pet parent hopes for, of course, is to find an effective product they can trust. They want something that won’t waste their time and money, and won’t harm their beloved animal companions. But as we’ve seen, the trick is to find a brand that doesn’t contain any of the harmful ingredients listed above.

What about vinegar?

Vinegar is becoming a popular solution for DIY weed killers. But store-bought vinegar isn’t very potent, which means it doesn’t always do the trick. Enter Green Gobbler – a company that created a weed killer composed entirely of concentrated vinegar, so you can finally kill those weeds safely and effectively.

Pet owners can use our weed killer in their yard without worrying about letting their pets out to play after,” says Matt Sternberg, Chief Operating Officer at EcoClean Solutions Inc. “It’s great for a pet-safe weed killer because it is derived naturally from corn and is as pure as it can be.” This non-corrosive, single-ingredient product is four times stronger than the vinegar you put on your French fries, so it’ll get rid of those pesky weeds once and for all. And your pets? They can roll and play in your yard risk-free!







Animal Wellness is North America's top natural health and lifestyle magazine for dogs and cats, with a readership of over one million every year. AW features articles by some of the most renowned experts in the pet industry, with topics ranging from diet and health related issues, to articles on training, fitness and emotional well being.