May 15 2019

Lawn Care and Our Pets

By: Raunie and Tegan

My name is Raunie Ratcliffe and I’m here to talk about Lawn Care as it pertains to our families. I am a proud mom of Tegan, a sweet and humorous, nine and a half years old Australian Sheppard and a part owner of my family business, Dr.Green Lawn Care Services. I am also a long-time friend and client of Prince Edward Animal Clinic. I’ve been involved in the lawn care industry for 25 years and am passionate about outdoor treatments that are safe for the environment and our families. This includes our furry family members too!  My dog, Tegan often comes on the road with me to meet our customers and help identify any problems they may be having – her nose comes in handy when picking out stubborn weeds like wild violet and clover!

Lawn Care Products, Are They Safe?

We get this question a lot from clients calling about the safety of products and whether or not they are a danger for their pets. The long and short of it is, some are safer than others. As a pet owner myself, I only use products that are 100% natural and certified for use in the province of Ontario by Health Canada – which would be the only products available for purchase through your local hardware store or greenhouse. Though these products typically take longer to work and require a bit more attention than traditional, harsher, products, they are safer for families, pets and the environment.  

Fertilizer, What Should I Use?

Fertilizer is a mixture of Nitrogen and Potassium to feed the roots of the grass and it is what gives your lawn that lush deep green colour.  It is often applied in granular form and spread throughout the grass using a push spreader. A little goes a long way when applying granular fertilizer, which means that when it is spread it often settles close to the soil and would be difficult for any pet to ingest.

If you are caring for your lawn by yourself, not using a professional service, I would suggest Scotts brand fertilizer as a product of choice but no real reason other than the quality is good.

Weed Control, What Should I Use? The only registered product in Ontario for control of your weeds is called Fiesta. This product is iron-based weed control and is 100% natural. This product is applied directly to the leaves and stem of an existing weed and once dried carries the active ingredient (iron) down to the root system. It is best if you allow the product to dry before letting pets out in the yard. This has to do with maximizing the effectiveness of the product to eliminate weeds.

What to do if Your Pet Eats the Grass?

It’s always important to keep an eye on your pets to identify any unusual behaviour and record all symptoms, when they happened and, any difference to the pets routine that could have caused it. Tegan and I both agree that no matter what the cause, any concern about the way your pet is acting can often be eased by a quick call to your pets doctor. You can read what Tegan’s doctor says about it here.

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