Is Weed And Feed Toxic To Dogs And Cats?

Jul 7, 2020 | Pet Health, Pets, Products

Re-post – Spring is here and we are thinking about all of the outside work that needs done.  Mr. TAL and I have a long list and are looking forward to cooking out on the grill, sitting on our patio with the dogs, and looking out over our well maintained property.  This post has been my top read and shared post for the last two years and I hope you find it helpful.  Rest assured that Jake and Maggie are safe and can run and play in the yard without getting sick!
Happy Wednesday everyone!  Hope you are all having a great week so far!  Today I’d like to talk about weed and feed for lawns.  Yes, I know…might be boring but so important.  Have you ever stood back and compared your lawn to your neighbors?  I admit that I have.  Our association requires us to professionally treat our front lawns and up both sides of our house to the back half way.  We own almost an acre and the treatment stops at the end of our patio.  Then the weeds start and it looks so terrible.  It’s like dandelion city back there while our neighbors just built a house and put in a fresh beautiful lawn.
So, I went to Walmart and grabbed a bag of weed and feed by Scott’s.  The first question Thomas asked me is if it was toxic to dogs and I literally felt anxious because I thought about every other time I had used weed killer when I had my other three dogs and might have harmed them using a product the wrong way.  The good news is that I bought Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed 3 which is non-toxic to pets if directions on the bag are followed.  Just to be safe…We made a plan to only treat parts of the lawn at a time so that Jake and Maggie were not walking on something that could make them very ill.  Now the yard looks amazing but I’m putting out this post (although late in the summer) for anyone who wants to know more about the dangers of treating your lawn when you have pets and for reference next summer!

Jake and Maggie enjoyed the weekend by swimming in Aunt Carla's pool :-).

What an awesome feeling to see my two babies enjoying themselves splashing in the pool.  These two are like fishes!  Thanks Aunt Carla and Uncle John for having all of us over for swims and pizza :-). 

The term “weed and feed” refers to lawn care products that contain a combination of fertilizer and herbicides. Most of the products available in stores contain chemicals and can hurt your pet if they get the toxins on their fur or paws and then lick themselves.


NPIC (National Pesticide Information Center) fact sheets are designed to answer questions that are commonly asked by the general public about pesticides that are regulated by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). This document is intended to be educational in nature and helpful to consumers for making decisions about pesticide use.  Call the National Pesticide Information Center at  1-800-858-7378 for more information.

Keep pets away!
  • To avoid toxic exposure, water the lawn before applying commercial weed and feed products.
  • Consider treating only sections of your yard at a time so that there is room for your pets to go potty or play.
  • This causes the fertilizers and herbicides to adhere to the grass blades.
  • It stays on the grass blades until you water the lawn again, some 24 to 48 hours after the application.
  • Be sure to check the label for warnings and instructions.
  • During the period between the first and second watering, pets should not be allowed on the lawn. The chemicals are present on the grass blades and your dog or cat can lick up the toxins on their fur or paws.
  • Dogs might even eat grass treated with the chemicals.
  • When you water the lawn again, you wash the chemicals from the foliage. It passes into the soil where it is absorbed by the plant roots and kills the weeds. At this point, your lawn is safe for pets again but, again,
Check out another great resource on 2,4-D
What is 2,4-D?
2,4-D is a herbicide that kills plants by changing the way certain cells grow. 2,4-D comes in several chemical forms, including salts, esters, and an acid form. The toxicity of 2,4-D depends on its form. The form also affects what will happen to 2,4-D in the environment and what impacts it may have, especially on fish. 2,4-D is used in many products to control weeds, and it is often mixed with other herbicides in these products.
Possible effects of exposure to weed and feed can be severe depending on the size of your dog and the amount ingested.
From short term gastrointestinal issues, while larger amounts can result in severe toxic effects like:
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Trouble breathing
  • Neurological problems
  • Brown-colored gums
  • Lethargy
  • Convulsions
Here are more great references to read if you are looking for more information as well as Eco Garden Pro Weed Killer being safe for pets, children, bees, fish, and any livestock


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  1. Adeline Smith

    We have 2 cats that like to chase each other on our lawn. There are some dandalions and a lot of white clover, and some yellow areas so I
    was thinking of putting weed and feed on the areas.
    I purchased Weed and Feed from Ace and when I read the directions I became concerned – would the product be bad for the cats licking it off of their paws/fur? I certainly don’t want to harm our sweet pets.
    Please advise if there is something safe for the cats and birds that will
    help make our lawn what we would like it to look like.

    • Bobbi

      Helo Adeline, Yes, I received both comments. I would be concerned that the cats would get sick by licking the weed and feed off their paws. I use Pogis organic wipes to wipe off my dogs after being outside. I did a blog post here about it: You might want to try something like this to wipe down your cats after being outside playing. Scroll through this post to see if this is something that interests you.

      I found a great site on treating your lawn naturally while being pet safe. Also, you might want to try treating only sections of the lawn and trying to keep your cats in a certain area if that is possible. Another product found on Amazon is Green Gobbler 20% Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer | Natural and Organic | 1 Gallon Spray | Glyphosate Free Herbicide. I found this product via this website:

      Another site that I use often is Just an FYI if you are interested.

      Hope this helps you!! Thanks for your comments. Bobbi Jo

  2. Adeline Smith

    Is the above that I entered beginning with “We have 2 cats not the comment? I’m confused – what do you need now other than my name and email?

    • Bobbi

      Hello Adeline, I received both comments and do not need anything. My response will go to your email that you provided.

      Bobbi Jo


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