Weed Killer That Is Safe for Dogs

by Joe Gordon, Demand Media
    Dogs dig naturally weeded yards.

    Dogs dig naturally weeded yards.

    Synthetic weed killers, scattered or sprayed on yards to keep them beautiful can be harmful to your dog. Unfortunately, most organic herbicides have proven to be ineffective against perennial weeds. But fret not dog lover, you can kill those weeds without poisoning your pup, using these natural weeding methods.

    Smother with Mulch

    Smothering weeds with organic hardwood mulch is a natural, dog-safe method of weed control. A wood-mulch barrier works to block sunlight required for weed establishment, reduces evaporation of moisture and controls soil temperature. The mulch may even dissuade your pet pal from tearing up your garden bed.

    Douse with Hot Water

    Dousing troublesome weeds with hot water may be the quickest, cheapest, pet- friendly way to realize the dream of a weed-free yard. The boiling-hot water whacks those nasty weeds by literally cooking their sensitive roots and causing certain death. Be careful not to scald yourself or your dog, and try to apply accurately, as the hot water will kill other plants, too.

    Hand Weed

    Old-fashioned hand weeding, with a dull knife or flat-tipped screwdriver, can be time-consuming, but it is dog-friendly and effective. Selective hand removal should be included in any weed management program to keep unwanted weeds from seeding throughout your yard. There is even a knife-like device available at garden stores, appropriately called a “weed hound," that is made for just this purpose.

    Corn Meal Weeding

    Corn gluten meal is an organic, environmentally safe alternative to synthetic herbicides often used to attack weed seeds while still underground. Used only as a weed preventative, CGM will not kill existing weeds or harm innocent plants and lovable dog friends. A byproduct of commercial corn milling, CGM is available in powdered or pelletized forms at garden stores, and can be applied every month or so to prevent future weed growth.
    Would it be too corny to say “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”?

    About the Author

    Joe Gordon is a writer who divides his time between Tampa Bay, Florida and Western North Carolina. Gordon has been published in local and regional newspapers and magazines, including VisitFlorida.org, "Oceanfront Magazine," "Sarasota Herald Tribune," "The Bradenton Herald," "Sarasota Scene Magazine," " Biz 941 Magazine" and "U Manatee Magazine." He studied journalism at Ohio University.

    Photo Credits

    • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images