How Long to Keep Dog off Grass after Fertilizing?

Everyone strive to keep their lawns healthy and beautiful. Many people turn to fertilizers to help feed their lawn grass. While they can work wonders for your lawn, fertilizers contain chemicals that can spell trouble for your pets or children. Let’s get to how long to keep dog off grass after fertilizing.

Dogs, pets and children shouldn’t be allowed on the lawn 72 hours after fertilizing or application of any other chemical-treatment. This is enough time to keep the vulnerable family members off the chemicals dangers and also for the grass to peacefully absorb the nutrients without disturbance.

How Long to Keep Dog off Grass after Fertilizing

We all know that dogs enjoy running and playing in grass. Lawns usually become unsafe to animals and children after a chemical treatment including fertilizing. Synthetic fertilizers are usually derived from chemical elements that are harmful when directly ingested.

Dogs like biting on or eating grass, and ingesting grass that’s been coated with toxic chemicals can pose serious harm. For this reasons, 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 to the 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 a life-threatening situation.

How to Fertilize a Lawn Safely

You can safely fertilize your lawn by observing the following:

1. Real and follow label instructions

Before you apply fertilizer be sure to read and follow the provided label instructions. The fertilizer manufacturers always instruct how to safely use the product while protecting your lawn, pets and children. Failure to read and follow instructions is a way of endangering your family members.

2. Keep your pets away from treatment area

It is always important to remember that fertilizers contain toxic chemical ingredients harmful to humans, pets and other animals. While even small amounts can cause issues, you want to keep your pet away from fertilizers altogether. This include during storage, when fertilizing and after the treatment.

3. Use pet friendly fertilizer

Safe fertilizers to use around pets and kids are usually labeled pet-friendly or kid-friendly. These kind 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 has a benefit of allowing grass to instantly absorb the nutrients 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.

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 soil pH level which can damage or even kill the grass. Similarly, the excess fertilizer takes longer to get absorbed into the soil. This means that even after the recommended 72 hours, your lawn will not be safe yet to your pets or children.

6. Thoroughly water after

You should thoroughly water your lawn after fertilizing. This not only help your grass to absorb the treatment but also make 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, sidewalk or patios. Your pet or children can easily ingest such stray fertilizer granules. You should therefore be vigilant and sweep up the stray granules before they end up in nearby rivers or in 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 are able to trace a sample of what they ate, take a sample of the substance with you.

Pet Friendly Fertilizer for Lawns

Keeping your pup indoors for 72 hours until the grass become safe doesn’t sound fair enough. 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 instruction 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 to pets and children. However, bone meal and blood meal have enticing smell and taste to dogs. Use as directed and store any leftover away from the pets.

Grass Clippings

Grass clippings are rich in nutrients, instead of raking and bagging them, you should leave them to decompose on your lawn. These plant materials contain nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium which are very essential nutrients for the growth of grass and other plants.

Compost Manure

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


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

How to Keep Dogs off your Lawn

Apart from protecting your pet during a chemical treatment, keeping unwanted dogs off the lawn is very important. While playing and rolling their backs on grass, dogs can tear up your lawn, dig holes in the yard and spray urine that will burn your lawn grass.

There are a number of ways to keep unwanted dogs or cats off the grass.

  • Use motion activated sprinkler. This is one of the best outdoor pet repellent for yard. The sprinkler is activated at the motion of a dog or cat. The automatic spray of water will then scare away unwanted guests from your yard.
  • Install a fence around your lawn. Wire fencing is an economical way of keeping dogs off your property. Chain link fence, wire mesh or barbed wire fence are all effective to use 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 pets 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.

While we enjoy the beauty of our lawns, our canine friends also use them as play grounds. Since a lawn won’t thrive without fertilizing, there comes a time we have to keep our pets off the lawn as a way of protecting them from harmful chemical treatments. Use lawn fertilizers as directed on the label and keep your children, dog and other pets off the grass until it becomes safe.

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