Pet Friendly Weed Killer

I hate weeds. They’re intrusive invaders and seem capable of overtaking the entire yard in a very short amount of time. Whereas, if I try to grow plants or flowers, and spend hours caring for them, fertilizing and watering, they die within a matter of weeks after planting them.

I’ve had many people recommend using Round-up to kill the weeds in and around my yard, but I refuse to use a chemical weedkiller on my lawn and plants because I have two dogs who love to walk on the grass and through many of the plants in the yard. I am uncomfortable with the idea of using any type of poison on my yard where I know Sadie and Rusty will be walking. Especially since all dogs use their tongues to lick clean the bottoms of their paws.

Here are a few dog friendly suggestions for killing weeds, provided by Gardening Know How.

Boiling Water If you have an area that you need to clear weeds out of on a wholesale level, such as a driveway or a sidewalk or just a large weedy patch where no plants you wish to keep are growing, you may want to consider using boiling water. Boiling water is certainly a pet safe weed killer and it will instantly kill any plant it comes in contact with by literally cooking the plant in the ground. But be careful, boiling water will kill all plants, not just the weeds.

Vinegar Vinegar works well as pet friendly weed killer. All you need to do is spray the vinegar on the plants that you wish to kill. For some tougher weeds, you may need to reapply the vinegar several times before the plant completely dies.

Salt If you have an area that you do not wish to have plants growing at all, like a brick path or patio, salt works well as a pet safe weed control. Putting salt in an area will make the soil unsuitable for plants and weeds to grow in.

Sugar Believe it or not, sugar is also a pet friendly weed killer. It puts the soil organisms into overdrive and the soil becomes temporarily unsuitable for plants. It is great for killing weed trees, pushes or vines that are hard to pull out. Simply pour some sugar at the base of the plant you wish to kill. If you are concerned about it becoming an attraction to pests, simply mix the sugar with equal parts chili pepper to deter those possible pests.

Corn Meal Sometimes the most effective pet safe weed killers are the ones that stop the weeds before they even appear. Corn meal has a chemical in it that acts as a pre-emergent on plant seeds. That means that it will prevent the seed from germinating. Sprinkling corn meal in an area that you want to keep weeds out of, will not harm the current plants but will keep weeds from growing.

Recipe for homemade pet safe weed killer The nice thing about all of these is that any of them can be combined to make more effective pet safe weed killers. Just mix them together. If the mixture is liquid and you will be using a spray bottle, add in a little dish soap. The dish soap will help the liquid stick to the weed better.

Landscape Fabric With this you’ll have to do a little pre-planning, but it will be worth it. You lay the fabric down cover it and weeds have a hard time growing though it. If you want your plants and flowers to grow just cut a hole in the fabric.

Our pets are our friends and we don’t want to do anything to harm them. Using products that are available in your house to make pet safe weed killers is a less-expensive option and it’s  just as effective and much safer than using the dangerous chemicals sold in stores.


  1. Hey, Kelley, thank you–I didn’t know about corn meal acting as an inhibitor to weed emergence:) So appreciate that!

  2. Sandy Markowski says:


    Excellent information here for everyone, thank you


  3. No problem Mary, happy I could help you out.

  4. my weeds, crabgrass and dandelions, are pretty much mixed in with what little “good” grass I have left and my backyard is too huge to use a hand held spray bottle. If I mix up one of these concoctions and apply with an industrial type spray bottle, will it damage my “good” grass?

  5. I am not sure, I have always dug out the crabgrass and replanted seed. As far as weeds and dandelions I usually just pull them. My yard is not very big so it works for me.

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