Contributed by Angie Lewis, Alaska Animal Advocates
A beautiful, lush lawn is certainly inviting, especially for Alaskans who yearn for greenery all winter long. Unfortunately, beautiful lawns are often a result of chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides. Studies have shown a correlation between lawn chemicals and certain cancers found in dogs. Dogs are exposed to these chemicals by ingestion, inhalation, and absorption through their skin.
Clearly, you should not use chemical pesticides or herbicides on your lawn, nor should you allow a lawn care service to do so. Avoid products that contain insect growth regulators. Before you allow your dog or cat to meander to a neighbor’s lawn, make certain that he or she does not use such products either.
If you think that your pet has rolled around on a chemically treated lawn, bathe him as soon as possible. Also, if your pet has walked on grass that has been chemically treated, give him a foot soak. Hopefully, this will flush away any chemicals that he has been exposed to. If you live in an apartment or duplex, and your pet has frequent access to a common lawn area that has been exposed to chemicals, try frequent watering down of a part of the lawn, to detox a patch of grass for your pet.
Switch to using organic, natural products to fertilize your lawn. There are many products that focus on organic lawn care. Research online for how to control weeds and promote healthy soil. Food and garden waste promotes healthy lawns, but be cautious about mulch containers that are not covered, as decomposing waste can make pets ill.
Chemical applications for lawn care are dangerous to your pets and to humans as well. Go natural!