It is a dream of every gardener to have a healthy and beautiful lawn. Many turn to different types of fertilizer to feed their lawn grass. Although nutritious for lawns, fertilizers may contain toxic chemicals harmful to pets. So, is Scotts Turf Builder safe for pets?
Fertilizer-only Scotts Turf Builder does not contain toxic compounds that may harm your pets. However, products combined with herbicides or pesticides may pose a health risk to your pets, children, and other animals in your homestead.
Is Scotts Turf Builder Safe for Pets?
Standard Scotts Turf Builder does not contain harmful chemicals harmful to your pets. It contains Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium as primary ingredients. These compounds are non-toxic in quantities found in Scotts Turf Builder.
This fertilizer dissolves easily in water and infiltrates the soil where the grass roots absorb it. Therefore, your lawn should be safe for pets after watering. Generally, Pets should not be allowed on the lawn 24-72 hours after applying Scotts Turf Builder.
However, Scotts Turf Builder containing herbicides and pesticides may pose a risk to pets and children. When ingested, it can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, or breathing complications. The affected pet should be rushed to a vet for treatment.
How to fertilize your lawn safely
To avoid exposing pets and children to the dangerous effects of fertilizer, the following tips will be helpful when fertilizing your lawn:
1. Read the manufacturer’s instructions
Before applying any fertilizer to your lawn, read the manufacturer’s instructions on the label. It may contain instructions on how to fertilize your lawn safely without causing harm to pets and children. Failure to read the instructions can endanger your pets and children.
2. Keep your pets and children away from the treated area
Be sure to keep your pets and children away from the treated area until you have watered the fertilizer into the soil and allowed the lawn to dry completely. How long to keep the dog off the grass after fertilizing will depend on the fertilizer used.
3. Water in the fertilizer after application
After fertilizing your lawn, water it in adequately to ensure it dissolves and infiltrates into the soil. Watering not only help your lawn to absorb nutrients, but it also helps ensure the grass is safe for your pets and children.
4. Sweep up any fertilizer on sidewalks, patios, and driveways
When fertilizing your lawn, some granules may stray and land on the sidewalks, driveways, and patios. Your pets can easily ingest stray fertilizer granules. After fertilizing, be sure to sweep up the granules into the lawn.
5. Fertilize using recommended ratio
Using 1 pound of fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of lawn is recommended. Applying excess fertilizer on your lawn will take longer to absorb. This means the fertilizer will still be on your grass past the recommended 72 hours.
6. Use pet-friendly fertilizers
Using a standard Scotts Turf Builder that is pet-friendly greatly improves the health of your lawn without endangering pets. Be sure to check the label instructions to ascertain that the product you are using is pet friendly.
7. Keep a close eye on your pets while outdoors
Be sure to watch your pets while they are playing outdoors. Watch for poisoning symptoms, such as drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you suspect your pet has ingested fertilizer granules, seek emergency veterinary care.
How long should pets stay off Scotts Turf Builder?
Pets like dogs like grooming themselves on grass once in a while. Allowing them to walk, play or spend time on a newly fertilized lawn puts them at risk of ingesting fertilizer granules. Keeping them indoors helps to prevent the risk of poisoning.
While commercial fertilizers contain nutrients plants require, they contain harmful chemicals that are dangerous to pets and other animals when ingested. Therefore, the best preventive measure is to keep them away from a freshly treated lawn.
Pet-Friendly Fertilizer Options
However, keeping your pets indoors for 72 hours seems to be a tough punishment for a pup that likes running and playing in the yard. You can consider other fertilizer options that are pet-friendly such as:
1. Compost manure
Compost manure is a pet-friendly fertilizer that is obtained from plants and animal residues. It’s also rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other minerals required by your lawn. However, it should be used when fully decomposed to benefit your lawn.
Seaweed also contains the necessary nutrients required by plants. It helps to keep your lawn healthy without posing any risk to your pets, children, and other animals. Seaweed fertilizer is available in both ground and liquid forms. However, be sure to read and follow the label instructions before using it.
3. Grass clippings
When mowing your lawn, do not bag the grass clippings. Use the mower to cut the grass clippings into tiny pieces and allow them to drop back into your lawn. The grass clippings will decompose to release nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and other nutrients into the soil.
4. Slow-release meal fertilizers
Different types of slow-release meal fertilizers are pet friendly. They include bone meal, corn meal, blood meal, and cottonseed meal. They are made from plants and animal byproducts. Some of these products, like blood and bone meal fertilizers, may have an enticing smell to attract dogs to your lawn. Be sure to keep the dogs off the lawn.
5. Certified organic fertilizers
Organic fertilizers don’t have synthetic chemicals that may compromise the safety of your pets. They are made from ingredients that are pet friendly. You don’t have to worry about the safety of your pup or other pets in your household.
How to Keep Dogs off the Lawn – After Fertilizing
Keeping dogs off the lawn after fertilizing is a way of protecting them from direct contact or ingesting fertilizer granules. Dogs playing and rolling on the grass, digging holes in the lawn, and spraying urine can damage your grass.
Dog poop and urine also contain high concentrations of nitrogen that can cause fertilizer-like burns on your lawn. You can use various ways to keep stray dogs off the lawn.
1. Put up a fence around your lawn
Installing a fence is one of the best ways of preventing unwanted dogs into your lawn. Put up a fence using chain link, barbed wire, or wire mesh. If you already have a fence, check around for holes, dog entry points, and repair.
2. Install motion sensor sprinklers
Motion sensor sprinklers are designed to water your lawn and scare away unwanted dogs, cats, and other nocturnal animals. Installing them along your lawn’s perimeter can work magic. As the dog walks near the sprinkler, the motion it automatically blasts a spray of water.
3. Use Natural dog repellants
Natural dog repellants like lavender and vinegar can also help to keep dogs away from your lawn. Spray these repellants on the perimeter of your lawn, and dogs won’t like the scent. Be sure not to spray vinegar directly on the grass as it may burn and kill the plants.
Limit pets’ access to a freshly treated lawn with Scotts Turf Builder or any other fertilizer based on the instructions stipulated on the label. Be sure to water the fertilizer and allow it to dry off completely before allowing in your pets.