How Long to Keep Dog off Grass after Fertilizing?

Everyone strives to keep their lawns healthy and beautiful. Many people turn to fertilizers to help feed their lawn grass. However, fertilizers contain chemicals that can trouble your pets or children. Here is how long you should keep the dog off the grass after fertilizing.

Dogs, pets, and children shouldn’t be allowed on the lawn 72 hours after fertilizing or applying any other chemical treatment. This protects your pet from the dangers of the fertilizer and gives the grass ample time to absorb the nutrients.

How Long to Keep Dog off Grass after Fertilizing

Lawns usually become unsafe to animals and children after a chemical treatment, including fertilizing. Synthetic fertilizers are usually derived from chemicals that can be harmful when directly ingested by pets or humans.

For this reason, pets should not be allowed on the lawn for up to three days after the treatment. You should provide an alternative safe playing area for your pet during this period.

Organic fertilizers are neither safe for pets. Most of them contain various “meal” leftovers from the farming or meat industries, which can easily entice a dog to feed on them. When a pet consumes larger amounts of organic fertilizer, it becomes life-threatening.

Also read: Best time to fertilize a lawn before or after rain?

How to Fertilize a Lawn Safely

To fertilize a lawn without endangering your family members, consider the following:

1. Real and follow manufacturer’s instructions

Before you apply fertilizer, be sure to read and follow the provided instructions on the product packaging. The fertilizer manufacturers always instruct how to safely use the product while protecting your lawn, pets, and children.

2. Keep your pets away from the treated area

Always remember that fertilizers contain toxic chemical ingredients harmful to humans, pets, and other animals. Keep your pets away from the treated areas of the lawn for atleast 24 hours or as instructed on the packaging.

3. Use pet-friendly fertilizer

Safe fertilizers around pets and kids are usually labeled pet-friendly or kid-friendly. These kinds of fertilizers require little wait time after application. What is important is to strictly follow label instructions on when to allow your pets or kids on the lawn after the treatment.

4. Go with granules

Lawn fertilizer comes in granular or liquid applications. Applying a liquid fertilizer allows grass to absorb nutrients instantly, but it becomes difficult to determine application accuracy and lawn safety after the application.

Granular lawn fertilizer is the easiest to apply with great levels of accuracy. The pellets are easily visible during the application and will disappear after watering. You can easily tell when the fertilizer is not completely absorbed.

5. Do not over-apply

Excess fertilizer is harmful to your lawn and your pets as well. Applying too much fertilizer to your lawn will interfere with the soil pH, which can damage or even kill the grass. Similarly, the excess fertilizer takes longer to absorb into the soil, making your lawn unsafe for your pets.

6. Thoroughly water after

You should thoroughly water your lawn after fertilizing. This helps your grass absorb the treatment and makes your lawn safe for your pets and children. Water helps in driving the fertilizer into the soil for faster absorption.

7. Sweep up Stray Granules

No matter how careful you are, it’s normal for some granules to stray and end up on the driveways, sidewalks, or patios. Your pet or children can easily ingest such stray fertilizer granules. Therefore, you should be vigilant and sweep up the stray granules before they end up in nearby rivers or your pet’s stomach.

8. Supervise your pets while outdoors

Always supervise your pets when they are playing outdoors. If your dog ingests something harmful in the garden, immediately seek emergency veterinary care. If you can trace a sample of what they ate, take it with you to the vet.

Also read: Is Scotts turf builder safe for pets?

Pet-Friendly Fertilizer for Lawns

Keeping your pup indoors for 72 hours until the grass becomes safe doesn’t sound fair. You can avoid this by using pet-friendly fertilizers. Some of the best pet-friendly fertilizers for lawns include the following:

EPA-Certified organic fertilizers

Organic fertilizers contain pet-friendly ingredients and have less wait time. However, be sure to read and follow label instructions, as there might be a recommended wait time before releasing your pet.

Slow-Release Meal Fertilizers

Meal fertilizers like bone meal, blood meal, cornmeal, and cottonseed meal are made from plant or animal byproducts, thus safe for pets and children. However, bone meal and blood meal have enticing smells and tastes to dogs. Use as directed and store any leftovers away from the pets.

Grass Clippings

Grass clippings are rich in nitrogen; instead of raking and bagging them, you should leave them to decompose on your lawn. This will reduce the need to apply synthetic fertilizers on your lawn.

Compost Manure

Compost manure from plant and animal residue forms a rich, pet-friendly fertilizer. It is important to use the manure when properly decomposed to avoid a pungent smell. You may also add grass clippings into your compost as a nitrogen source.


Seaweed has numerous traces of minerals, including nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorous, which are essential for plant growth. Seaweed is safe for pets, but be sure to read and follow the instructions on the label. This pet-friendly fertilizer is available in ground form and as a spray-on liquid.

How to Keep Dogs off your Lawn

While playing and rolling on the grass, dogs can tear up grass, dig holes in the lawn and spray urine that will burn your lawn grass. Here is how to keep dogs off the grass.

  • Use a motion-activated sprinkler. This is one of the best outdoor pet repellents for the yard. The sprinkler is activated by sensing any motion. The automatic water spray will then scare away unwanted guests from your yard.
  • Install a fence around your lawn. Fencing is an economical way of keeping dogs off your property. Chain link fences, wire mesh, or barbed wire fences are all effective around your lawn. Timber, metals, or vinyl may also be used for fencing.
  • Grow spiky or thorny shrubs. A living fence around your lawn also adds to the beauty of your garden. Thorny shrubs or spiky flowers can be great at keeping animals away from your yard.
  • Apply natural repellent sprays. Lavender or vinegar spray around your lawn can work wonders in keeping dogs and cats away from your grass. Avoid spraying vinegar directly on your grass or flowers, as it may kill the plants.

Fertilizing a lawn is vital, but the ingredients in the lawn food won’t be nice to your pets. Keep your dog off the grass after fertilizing for at least 24 hours or as indicated on the fertilizer packaging. Pet-friendly fertilizers can be a good option if you have furry friends.

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