Safe Lawns for your Pets

Many dogs frequently play in the yard, walk on neighbors lawns or use the park. While they are outside, they may be exposed to the chemicals used to treat lawns. Approximately 67% of Americans treat their lawns to pesticides and herbicides. These chemicals can cause serious health problems not only in dogs, but also in people. Some of the problems that can be caused by lawn treatments are: reproductive and neurological damage, organ damage, and endocrine and immune system dysfunction.

Illness caused by lawn chemicals can be prevented. Do not let dogs near lawns that have just been treated. The chemicals in lawn treatments will break down after time and from sunlight. If a dog has come in contact with these chemicals, immediately wash its paws and anything else that may have touched the chemicals. Another alternative is to use organic treatments instead of chemicals.

Unlike many other illnesses, very few vets have studied the long term damage of lawn chemicals. The National Cancer Institute has discovered that rates of lymphoma to be twice as high in dogs whose owners use chemicals containing 2,4-D, a chemical found in most common lawn treatments, as opposed to owners who do not use 2,4-D. Long term exposure to chemical lawn treatments is not only harmful to dogs but to humans as well. Pesticide residue can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin. In humans, the symptoms from herbicide poisoning are very similar to flu symptoms. Like humans, herbicide poisoning in dogs resembles other diseases making it difficult to diagnose. If a dog is believed to have been poisoned by lawn treatments, blood chemistry tests can be ordered but are rarely used due to the high cost.

Some Lawn Chemical Facts

  • Approximately 67% of Americans treat their lawns with chemicals.

  • Lawn chemicals can cause reproductive and neurological problems, organ damage, endocrine and immune system dysfunction, and are intoxicating carcinogens.

  • When used correctly, there is very limit risk of becoming sick from lawn care chemicals.

  • Few vets have studied the long term effects of lawn care chemicals.

  • National Cancer Institute found rates of lymphoma to be twice as high in dogs whose owners used preparations that contained 2,4-D on their lawn as in dogs whose owners did not use the chemicals.

  • 2,4-D is a common ingredient used in most commercial ‘weed and feed’ lawn treatments.

  • Long-term exposure to even low doses of pesticide exposure can cause many health problems in people.

  • Pesticide residues can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin and cause nervous system disturbances and interfere with organ function.

  • Poisoning of these chemicals can cause symptoms similar to those of the flu, allergy, headaches, nausea, fever, breathing difficulties, and high blood pressure (in humans).

  • Herbicide poisonings in animals can reflect that of other diseases and can be difficult to diagnose.

  • Blood chemistry tests could be used to help diagnose dogs but are very costly so they are used infrequently.

  • To avoid exposure to these chemicals, do not let dogs near fresh applications of these chemicals.

  • Avoid grass that has been recently treated with chemicals.

  • Wash your dog's paws after exposure to chemicals and anything else that may have become in contact with the chemicals.

  • Try using organic and natural alternatives to keep pets and people healthy.