Pet Health – Yard fertilizers and Chemicals

What you put on your yard and lawn can have a major health impact on your dogs.  Many of the fertilizers in common use and most for the pesticides, herbicides and fungicides can be highly toxic.

These chemicals can be inhaled and absorbed through the skin. Your pets walk through your grass and get these chemicals on their fur and carry it into your house or their kennel.  They will then start to clean their legs and underside ingesting high levels of toxic substances.  Many of these substances can increase the chance or cancer, lymphoma, birth defects and decreased fertility and many other diseases.

Even the main ingredients in synthetic fertilizer can be harmful to pets it they are allowed to ingest where over application has occurred.  Studies done at the University of Wisconsin-Madison showed that nitrate can cause endocrine, immune and nervous system malfunctions and well as reproductive problems.  Be sure to change any water out that has been contaminated by high nitrogen fertilizers in that it can be very harmful to all animals.  Many of the fertilizer you buy will have health warnings printed on the bag.

Another of the main ingredients in fertilizer is phosphorus.  It in heavy concentrations can be carcinogenic.

Test have been run on many of the synthetic fertilizers commonly use and they have been found to contain many heavy metals and have been linked to multiple health problems including heavy metal poisoning and cancer.

In one major test of synthetic fertilizers showed that of the twenty-nine tested fertilizers twenty-two contained toxic heavy metals.  These metals are linked to either ecological or human health hazards. Most noticeable is the wide array of toxic metals that exist in fertilizer:

Inert Ingredients – While we know that the active ingredients in pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and synthetic fertilizer can do harm to humans and animals, we forget about the inert ingredients.  Things like cadmium, toluene and hydrocarbons found in these products can be left off pesticide labels so some people do not know that they are even in the product.  With synthetic fertilizer if you buy a 10-10-10 you know what 30% of what is in the package is, while the other 70% is not regulated and can in many cases is the cheapest thing they can buy to fill out the bag.  Many of these “inert ingredients” have adverse health effects on both animals and humans.

The New York Times reported how a champion ice skater, Christina Locek, was sunning herself in her Illinois backyard when a lawn care company began spraying insecticides onto a neighbor’s yard.  The article described how the spray drifted into Ms. Locek’s yard, across her and her cat and dog.  The cat died within minutes.  The dog died within a few hours.  Ms. Locek collapsed and is now permanently disabled and no longer able to compete.

Let us look at some of the chemicals:

Insecticides – Many insecticides work by interfering with an insect’s nervous system.  Even though insecticides kill insects, they usually won’t kill your pets, but they can have a detrimental effect on their nervous system.

The pesticide Dursban (also called chlorpyrifos), commonly used in indoor and lawn pest control, is now showing evidence of causing immune system disorders – Department of Health Science, California State University.

The pesticide MCPA, used as an ingredient in some lawn pesticides, has been found to damage a part of the brain known as the blood brain barrier Annual Reviews in Public Health.

The results of another study suggest that organophosphate, and carbamate pesticides, can produce behavioral manifestations following accidental exposure.  The effects of the pesticides on activity support the hypothesis that these agents may affect the central nervous system. Dept. of Pharmacology, University of Mississippi.

Pet Bladder Cancer Linked to Lawn Pesticide Applications.  Journal of the American Veterinary Medicine Association, April 15, 2004.

Even using organic pest control products can be very dangerous if handled wrong. It is best never to mix two different products together in that they can form deadly compounds.

Herbicides – Herbicides kill unwanted plants. 2, 4-D (used in Agent Orange during the Vietnam War) is a frequent ingredient and is believed to be associated with malignant lymphoma.  Fungicides can affect the nervous system and cause digestive problems.

An article published in Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis; found that an unidentified chemical in Roundup caused genetic damage in the livers and kidneys of animals.

Deborah Cory-Slechta and colleagues at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry said that some herbicides (paraquat was one mentioned) showed clear signs of Parkinson’s, a progressive and incurable brain illness.

Fungicides – Fungicides can affect the nervous system and cause digestive problems.

Deborah Cory-Slechta and colleagues at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry said that some fungicides (maneb was one mentioned) showed clear signs of Parkinson’s, a progressive and incurable brain illness.

Synthetic Fertilizers: Many synthetic fertilizers use materials as fillers that contain excessive amounts of heavy metals that can cause various type of cancer.

Products like “weed and feed” are a combination of fertilizers and herbicides.  This combination is a major danger to your animals because of the large number of dangerous chemicals this type of product contains.  Many people who use “weed and feed” fertilizers use it for all applications thus bringing the levels of herbicide used to a very toxic level.
Recommendation: We are a firm believer in a natural environment. Organic products can give you great yards that are totally safe for you pets, wildlife and children while protecting the environment. Changing to an “All Organic Environment” is not easy in many cases, but when natures balance has been restored you will find your yard is better than ever. Using products, ‘A complete natural ancient humus’, such as Turf and Garden Pro and by Turf Pro USA ( can quickly bind up some of the harmful chemicals and change them into a much less toxic compound.

Organics for a cleaner, better environment for you, your family and pets.

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One response to this post.

  1. […] treatment and fertilizer are very harmful to dogs. You can see a detailed list of those ingredients here. here. Look into pet-friendly lawn […]


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