Is Scotts Turf Builder Safe for Pets? How to Apply Safely

It is a dream of every gardener to have a healthy and most beautiful lawn in the neighborhood. Many turn to different types of fertilizer to feed their lawn grass. Despite these fertilizers being nutritious to your lawn, some contain chemicals that are harmful to your pets. So, is Scotts Turf Builder safe for pets?

Scotts Turf Builder is safe to your pets as long as you follow the label instructions on the package. Fertilizer-only Scotts Turf Builder does not contain toxic compounds that may harm your pets. However, if this product is combined with herbicides or pesticides, it may pose a risk to your pets, children and other animals in your homestead.

Is Scotts Turf Builder Safe for Pets?

Scotts Turf Builder is not harmful to pets when used according to manufacturer’s instructions. It contains Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium as primary ingredients. These are natural compounds required by plants to develop and grow healthy. They are non-toxic in quantities found in Scotts Turf Builder.

Standard Scotts Turf Builder does not contain chemicals that are harmful to your pets. In addition, it dissolves easily in water and infiltrate into the soil where it is absorbed by your lawn. Therefore, your lawn should be safe for pets after watering in.

However, Scotts Turf Builder containing herbicides and pesticides may pose a risk to pets and children. Pets like dogs like eating grass, they can develop complications if they lick or ingest the fertilizer. The affected pets may experience symptoms such as drooling, vomiting, diarrhea or breathing complications.

To prevent your pets from ingesting or coming into contact with Scotts Turf Builder containing herbicides and pesticides, be sure to water it into the soil immediately after fertilizing. Let it to dry completely before allowing in your pets.

How to fertilize your lawn safely

To avoid exposing pets and children on dangerous effects of a fertilizer, the following tips will be helpful when fertilizing your lawn:

1. Read the manufacturer’s instructions before using the product

Prior to applying any fertilizer to your lawn, be sure to read 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

Scotts Turf Builder containing pesticides and herbicides is harmful to pets. Be sure to keep your pets and children away from the treated area until when you have watered the fertilizer into the soil and allowed the lawn to dry completely.

3. Water in the fertilizer after application

After fertilizing your lawn, water it in adequately to ensure it dissolves and infiltrate into the soil. Watering in does not only help your lawn to absorb the nutrients, 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 the stray fertilizer granules. After fertilizing, be sure to sweep up the granules into the lawn.

It is recommended to use 1 pound of fertilizer per 1,000 square feet of lawn. Applying excess fertilizer on your lawn will take longer time to be absorbed. This means that the fertilizer will still be on your grass past the recommended 72 hours. Fertilizing excessively can also burn your lawn.

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 to your pets while outdoors

Be sure to keep an eye on your pets while they are playing outdoors. Watch out for any poisoning symptoms such as drooling, vomiting and diarrhea. If you suspect your pet has ingested fertilizer granules, seek an emergency veterinary care.

How long should pets stay off Scotts Turf Builder?

Pets should not be allowed on the lawn 24-72 hours after fertilizing with a Scotts Turf Builder or any other chemical treatment. It helps to prevent the risk of pets accidentally ingesting the fertilizer granules.

Pets like dogs like grooming themselves on grass once in a while. Allowing them to walk, play or spend some time on a newly fertilized lawn puts them at a risk of ingesting fertilizer granules. Keep them indoors helps to prevent risk of poisoning.

While commercial fertilizers contains nutrients required by plants, 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.

However, keeping your pets indoors for 72 hours seems to be a tough punishment to a pup that like running and playing in the yard. You can consider other fertilizer options that are pet friendly such as:

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. Compost manure does not contain any synthetic chemical that may harm your pets. However, it should be used when fully decomposed to benefit your lawn.


Seaweed also contains 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 form. However, be sure to read and follow the label instructions prior to fertilizing your lawn.

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 it drop back into your lawn. Other than being used as mulching materials, grass clippings decompose to release nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other nutrients back into the soil.

Slow-Release Meal Fertilizers

There are different types of slow-release meal fertilizers that are pet friendly. They include bone meal, corn meal, blood meal and cottonseed meal. They are made from plants and animals byproducts. Some of these products like blood and bone meal fertilizers may have an enticing smell to attract dogs into your lawn. Be sure to keep the dogs off the lawn.

Certified Organic Fertilizers

Organic fertilizers doesn’t have synthetic chemicals that may compromise 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. Other than protecting them from a risk of poisoning, it is important to keep stray dogs off your lawn. Playing and rolling on lawn, digging holes 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. Dogs also mark their territory repeatedly in the same spots using urine. This can cause patches of severe burns on the lawn.

 There are various ways you can use 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 wire, barbed wire or a wire mesh. If you already have a fence, check around for holes and dog entry points and repair. Make sure to keep the main gate closed.

2. Install motion sensor sprinklers

Motion sensor sprinklers are designed to water your lawn as well as scarring away unwanted dogs, cats and other nocturnal animals. Installing them along the perimeter of your lawn can help to scare away stray dogs. As the dog walks near the sprinkler, the motion will set on the sensor to trigger a quick spray.

3. Use Natural dog repellants

Natural dog repellants like lavender and vinegar can also help to keep stray dogs away from your lawn. Spray these repellants on the perimeter of your lawn to keep dogs away. Be sure not to spray vinegar directly on the grass as it may burn and kill the plants.

4. Grow spiky or thorny live fence

Having a live fence around the lawn improves the aesthetic value of your garden as well as keeping the stray dogs away. The thorns or spikes may prick the dog to deter it from entering into your lawn. 

Final Thoughts

Limit access of pets to a lawn that is freshly treated with Scotts Turf Builder or any other fertilizer in according to the instructions stipulated on the label. Be sure to water in the fertilizer and allow it to dry off completely before allowing in your pets. Sweep up fertilizer granule on the sidewalks, driveways and patios to prevent your pets from ingesting or licking on it.

Take extra precautions to wash the dog when in contact with a newly treated lawn. Watch out for any symptoms of poisoning such as drooling, diarrhea or vomiting. Take your pets urgently to a veterinary if you suspect a risk of poisoning.

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