Pet Safe Lawn Fertilizer
Looking For A Pet Safe Lawn Fertilizer
It can take a bit of searching to find a truly pet safe lawn fertilizer. Many commercial products aren't advertised as being pet safe even though some of them might be. On the other hand, there are lawn fertilizers which are definitely not pet safe, though nothing is mentioned on the bag or package to that effect. There are products out there however, that indicate either they are a pet safe lawn fertilizer, or provide an indication that the opposite may be true.
It isn't always that pets will attempt to eat the fertilizer, though some dogs will eat or lick at anything that smells good to them, and that includes such things as potentially toxic fertilizers and anti-freeze. They will get the fertilizer on their paws or in their fur however, where the chemicals contained therein can either be absorbed through the skin or licked.
Some breeds are more genetically disposed to contract certain illnesses than others. Some breeds of dogs or cats may have no problem with a given type of lawn fertilizer, even one that carries with it a risk of cancer. Breeds such as certain of the terrier types appear to have a much higher susceptibility to bladder cancer due to carcinogens in fertilizer than do most other breeds.
The Danger Of Inert Ingredients - By looking at the labels we can sometimes tell if a lawn fertilizer contains substances we know could be harmful to our pets, but not seeing any harmful substances listed doesn't necessarily guarantee you're purchasing a pet safe lawn fertilizer. The culprit here is the so-called inert ingredient. Inert ingredients, in the case of a lawn fertilizer, are simply those ingredients which do not play an active role in fertilizing the lawn. Inert ingredients can be fillers, binders, or catalysts of one kind or another. The problem is, since these ingredients are deemed to be inert, as far as the function and use of the fertilizer is concerned, the law does not require that they be listed. After all, if something is inert, why bother?
The problem is, there are ingredients which are inert as far as nourishing the lawn is concerned, but may not be inert as far as your pet is concerned, and may be either toxic or carcinogenic, or both. These inert elements aren't usually just trace elements either, but more often than not make up the bulk of what's in a bag of fertilizer.
Safe For Humans Also A Factor - Another thing to be taken into account when searching for a pet safe lawn fertilizer, is any lawn fertilizer that is harmful to pets could conceivably be harmful to humans as well, especially to children. While the dog or cat genome is not the same as the human genome, and what is toxic to one animal may not necessarily be toxic to another, a fertilizer that is unsafe to have around pets should be looked at carefully in terms of possible adverse effects to humans.
Organic Or Liquid Usually Best - It can help of course if you know what type of fertilizer your lawn requires, if not a general purpose fertilizer. It's also true that an organic fertilizer is usually (though not always) much safer to use when pets are around than a chemical fertilizer. Liquid fertilizers are normally a good choice as a pet safe lawn fertilizer, as the ingredients are absorbed immediately by the vegetation or absorbed into the ground. The same is not usually the case with solid or chemical fertilizers. Compost or manure can be used as well, although the absorption time is usually much slower. In general, compost or aged manure is not apt to be harmful to pets.
Otherwise either study the labels, look for a brand that is labeled "pet safe" or a have your veterinarian advise you as to what brands on the market are considered pet safe.