Cat and DogNow that spring is here, you may be starting your garden, planting flowers, or seeding your yard for the months ahead. But, when you have pets that use your yard too, you need to be sure you are using these products correctly to avoid making your furry family members sick.

Here’s what to know about pet safety in your own back (or front) yard…


For the most part, fertilizers are not going to be a health issue for your pets. The problem you will have is keeping your pets from running through your home after rolling around in the freshly-mulched garden. Dogs especially love to roll in fresh fertilizer, making it a challenge to keep both your pet and your home clean and stink free.

However, as long as you are not using special chemicals in your fertilizers, the harm from this will likely be to your rug, and not your pets.


Insecticides are the most dangerous outdoor chemicals to your pets.

This does not mean you need to skip using insecticides altogether, but do be certain to take every precaution to keep your pet safe if you do. As long as you read the directions on the container, do not use more than recommended, and do not allow your pets outside when an insecticide is fresh and still wet, then your pets should be safe.

However, if you notice any of the following symptoms of chemical poisoning, a trip to the veterinarian is in order as soon as possible:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Walking funny
  • Strange behavior

If your pets do get out while your lawn is being treated, wash them down immediately with soapy water and keep a close eye on them for any signs of the symptoms listed above. Again, if you do see these symptoms, bring your pet in for care immediately.


Most herbicides are not going to hurt your pet, if you follow the instructions on the packaging and don’t use too much.

After you’re finished, be certain that you do not leave any empty packages where animals might get into them and eat the remaining residue; this could mean an emergency visit to your veterinarian. Again, look for the symptoms of poisoning listed above.

Lawn Equipment

Many people forget the dangers of having lawn equipment left out. Stakes for tents, rakes, shovels, and any blade or clipper can injure an animal that runs over it or decides to try to play with it. Make sure to put away all tools when you are done with them.

Other Hazardous Materials

If you are working outside, whether it is painting the shed, or building a doghouse, you need to be aware of everything you are using. When you are done, make sure you pack and clean up the area. A bit of spilled turpentine may not seem like a big deal, but if your dog decides to lick it up, it could prove to be fatal.

Pets are a lot like small children. They are going to get into almost everything if given the opportunity. You do not want to have your tools and equipment ruined, or have your pet become ill or injured by something you left on the ground.

Remember, animals are going to be running around in the yard, with no shoes, more than everyone else in your house combined. Do your best to keep the whole yard safe for them. Use any and all chemicals according to the directions and put them away when done.

You may want to consider running through the yard with your pet regularly, to see what dangers may be lurking. If an accident does occur, contact us right away. We are always happy to help.