Veterinarian reveals most toxic lawn chemical for pets

YOUNGSTOWN, OH (WKBN) – Trees, grass and weeds are in bloom across the valley but before you head out to use your weed killer and fertilizer keep in mind that pets are at risk with some of those chemicals.

Jon Mazza, with Mazza Lawn Care, said it’s a struggle to stay on top on the weeds that are cropping up, and topical fertilizers and weed killers are common applications to help keep them at bay. He says there are two types of formulations – granular and liquid. Mazza said one is more pet-friendly than the other.

“If you put down a granular product, it goes down to the soil level. It is extremely difficult to come in contact with that,” Mazza said.

If you do use a granular product and you’re still worried, Mazza says you can water it down to put it further into the soil. He also cautions that all liquid applications should be completely dry before children or pets are allowed back on the lawn – that could take up to five hours depending on the weather.

There are a variety of products that can be used on the lawn and all contain different ingredients. Veterinarian Dr. Brandt Athey says some contain bone meal that could cause stomach upset.

“The most toxic thing that we deal with is snail bait, which contains the product metaldehyde – a deadly toxin,” Athey said.

Common signs and symptoms of pets coming in contact with lawn chemicals:

  • Stomach upset
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Seizures
  • Unusual behavior or lethargy

The best thing to do is let your lawn professional know you have a pet so they can choose the appropriate application.

Mazza says if you treat your lawn yourself, make sure to read the product labels and use the appropriate amount of chemical for the job. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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