Is Crabgrass Preventer Harmful to Dogs?

Annoying, unsightly crabgrass (Digitaria spp.) Is hard to eliminate after it’s established. It is really an yearly plant but it keeps coming back year after year by openly self-seeding. Pre-emergent herbicides can be used to reduce seed germination, but application needs to be timed properly for them to be effective. The herbicide must be carefully chosen, though, particularly when dogs use the lawn. Pre-emergent herbicides are dangerous under certain circumstances. There is a natural choice, however, that is effective and will not damage your dogs.

Potential for Harm

Pre-emergent herbicides like pendimethalin, for example, are rated as safe for people and pets so long as they are implemented properly and accessibility to the area is limited to a little while after application. People and pets should not enter a treated area for 24 hours following herbicide application to let the liquid form dry or allow the dust settle when the dry formula is applied. Pre-emergent herbicides can also cause damage to grass. Oxadiazon, for example, can damage fine fescue grasses (Festuca spp.) .

What sort of Dog Is That?

The potential for damage caused by pre-emergent herbicides varies, depending on the strain of the dog. There is a relationship between exposure to herbicides and the rate of bladder cancer in Scottish terriers. They are 18 to 20 times more likely to get bladder cancer than other types of dogs. Beagles, Shetland sheepdogs, west highland white terriers and wire hair fox terriers are three to five times more likely to develop bladder cancer compared to other breeds. There may be other breeds that have an increased risk, but also the research to determine that this have not been done. Therefore, while the dog may not show symptoms when initially exposed to the herbicide, issues can develop later on.

Do Not Eat the Fertilizer

Corn gluten is a pre-emergent herbicide that kills crabgrass and does not harm dogs. In actuality, the majority of dogs eat corn gluten daily. It is listed as the first ingredient in various types of dog food. It is created when corn is processed for different foods. Corn gluten is also a good fertilizer for grass. It can be purchased as pellets or powder. Both are equally powerful, however, the pellets are easier to spread. Corn gluten includes 9 to 10 percent nitrogen, which will be about equal to a 10-1-1 chemical peels.

Timing Is Everything

The corn gluten must be spread over the yard at a rate of 20 pounds for 1,000 square foot of grass in late winter or early spring. It needs to be applied 10 to 14 days before the ground warms to 55 to 58 degrees Fahrenheit and the crabgrass seeds germinate. Apply the same amount again in early summer. Water the grass gently after application. Two applications of corn gluten will supply all the nitrogen necessary for a healthy, green lawn.

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