How long to keep dogs off grass after fertilizing? We all know that lawn care for a lush and healthy lawn means fertilizing it every third to fourth week throughout the growing period.

Keep Dog Off Grass After Fertilizing

Until the fertilizer gets absorbed into the soil, it is a health hazard for your dog. Learn how long the dog should be kept away depending on the type of fertilizer that you are using and what to do in case of any mishap.

How Long To Keep Dog Off Grass After Fertilizing?

Keep dogs off grass for two to five hours after fertilizing. However, if your fertilizer is the kind that seeps into the soil, then you must keep your dog away from it for 12 to 24 hours, to be on the safest side for its health.

– Duration for Safety

When you spray liquid fertilizer on your lawn grass, it stays over the grass blades and the soil for a while before absorbing it completely, hence some would be the faster kind and absorb it after two hours and others after five.

Until it does, it is unsafe to let your dog out to play on the lawn, and the reason is that the chemicals in the fertilizer after coming in contact with your dog’s fur might elicit an allergic response. 

The dog might accidentally end up licking them off the grass out of curiosity, as it is not yet dry. Most chemical fertilizers come in heavily concentrated forms, which makes them more potent and easy to transport. This is another reason we are such advocates of diluting liquid feeds to lessen their impact on the grass and keep pets safe. 

If you like using slow-release pellet form lawn fertilizers, then these are potentially more dangerous because your dog might end up ingesting whole pellets by accident. Be vigilant, mix all the pellets well into the topsoil, and allow a day before letting your dog out so overall by 24 hours, it will be in a dry state and safer for your pet.

Why Is Fertilizer Harmful for Dogs?

Fertilizer is harmful for dogs because if it hasn’t dried well, the dog might lick it off the grass and get intoxicated.

Grass Fertilizer Can be Harmful for Dogs

In addition, the fertilizer may be mixed with pesticides, and it would be poisonous and even dangerous. In addition, organic fertilizer may harm the dog too. 

– Mixed with Pesticides

You need to know which of the fertilizers are most dangerous when it comes to your dog’s health, especially when it hasn’t dried yet, and 24 hours or more haven’t passed. A fertilized lawn with any of these should be off-limits for dogs, cats, and other pets for several days at least. 

Fertilizers mixed with pesticides are the most toxic for dogs, and might even be poisonous in certain quantities. They usually come with clear warnings written on their label. Some dog breeds are more at risk than others, and even a little exposure can be life-threatening.

Whenever fertilizers are mixed with herbicides, they become even more toxic. In many unfortunate circumstances, dogs have been known to suffer from chemical burns to the skin after coming in contact with them.

Similarly, organic fertilizers that are left on the surface of the soil as it is are never healthy for dogs. It is safer to convert solid compost or manure into tea instead. If you must use compost over the soil, keep the dog out indefinitely.

– Affects on Dogs

If your dog ingests fertilizer off the grass by licking it, this can produce severe toxicity. The poor animal will be very uncomfortable with severe mouth burns and abdominal cramps.

Other common symptoms that appear are vomiting, diarrhea, or bowel obstruction. Another hard-to-miss sign is drooling and discolored gums.

Likely, the fertilizer will also have come in contact with the dog’s fur and bare skin while it was on the lawn. Lookout for signs of rashes and see if the poor animal is trying to scratch itself badly. If these signs and symptoms appear soon after fertilizing your lawn, waste no more time and head straight to the veterinary emergency.

If not treated on time, fertilizer toxicity can become seriously life-threatening. It might even cause breathing difficulties, cardigan arrest, or organ damage in dogs. Using fertilizer mixed with insecticides or pesticides is an even bigger risk and is likely to cause severe symptoms. 

– Organic Fertilizers 

Sadly, we cannot say that organic fertilizers are safe to be ingested by dogs. When we think about anything organic, we think it is natural and safe.

As you would be applying organic compost and manure to your grass is safer than chemical fertilizers. This does not mean that compost, mulch, manure, etc., are safe for dogs because it has toxic chemicals as it is being made. 

Organic fertilizer mixes food scraps, animal produce, leaves, and other natural items. It is then allowed to rot in a compost bin for several months before being used, this rot would mix the chemicals and may be toxic.

Organic Fertilizers for Lawn Grass

The end product might be a super-rich blend of nutrients for the grass and vegetation, but it is in no way something any animal can tolerate, but plants would thrive. 

Your dog might be tempted to eat compost out of curiosity, but will have vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort. It might even get infected by bacteria responsible for rotting the organic compost, because it is heavy for it is immunity. 

Note that you should not leave your compost bin exposed if you have pets around. When adding compost to the soil, don’t just leave it there, but mix it well within the topsoil using a rake. Nonetheless, if you use compost as a mulch layer, it’s best to restrict your dog’s entry into the lawn for a while.

– In Case of Emergency

In case of your dog accidentally becomes intoxicated with fertilizer, look out for the tell-tale signs of intoxication discussed above. For immediate pain relief, you can give your dog some warm milk.

You must consult with a vet as soon as possible and treat the dog professionally, as soon as possible. Provide your vet with an accurate history of the type of fertilizer that you have used and how much the dog was exposed so that the accurate measures would be taken. 


How To Have Safe Fertilizing for Dogs?

To have a safe fertilized lawn for your dog, you can be cautious and not let it out for 48 hours, until everything is dry. You can use pet-friendly fertilizing to be on the safe side, and you can use organic substances as fertilizers as well.

– Cautiousness 

Even when opting for a quick-drying fertilizer, it is prudent to keep your off the grass for the first 48 hours. That should work if you can lock your dog in the house. Some dog parents will have to put a leash on their canine friends. 

The smell of cayenne peppers highly repulses dogs, and you can use this against them for their safety of course, because this way they will not be on the lawn. Spray a mixture of cayenne pepper and water around the grass’s periphery. As you spread it, it will keep the dog away until the smell is washed off by rain or water. 

You also need to give your fertilizer package a thorough read before use. Note that some different companies might have formulations requiring a different waiting time before pets can be allowed on the grass. 

Take care about storing your fertilizers someplace where your dog can’t reach them. You may put the lid on the compost bin tightly secured and the bottle of liquid fertilizer shut tightly. Granular fertilizer exposed to air turns cake-like and might tempt your unsuspecting dog to try it out.

– Pet-friendly Fertilizers

We are all thankful to pet-safe fertilizers manufacturers for making formulas safer for homes with pets and kids. With these fertilizers, you can let your dog into the lawn soon after fertilization. 

Just because they are pet friendly does not mean they are 100 percent safe for dogs, cats, and other pets. Even if these fertilizers get absorbed way quicker into the soil than regular ones, it’s safe to wait awhile before letting the dog out.

Using Pet Friendly Fertilizers for Grass

We say this because you don’t want to take any chances regarding your precious pets. A wait time of two hours minimum is a must in any case. 

Rain helps carry fertilizer deeper into the soil and washes off the excess from the grass blades. If it rains soon after your scheduled fertilizing session, you can immediately let your dog into the lawn. 

– Harmless Organic Substances

There are some natural options for fertilizers, except compost or manure, that are safer for dogs if they ingest it accidentally or lick it. You must keep the dog off the grass at most 20 to 30 minutes after their application. Being safer means they are also far less potent and will need more frequent applications.

Lime is an important soil substrate that increases the soil’s pH levels. It is also a rich source of magnesium and calcium that help the soil grow. In addition, you can use life with all trust, because lime is quite pet safe, and all you have to do is to spread it on the lawn and water it in.

You may even use corn gluten meal is often used as a natural herbicide to kill weeds before germination. It is also a source of several significant nutrients like nitrogen etc. ideally, you should water it in, but it is okay even if your dog eats it off the grass, because it is completely harmless.

However, you can use compost tea is a diluted and far safer form of organic compost. You add a little bit of compost and water together. Then strain this water out after thoroughly mixing it with compost. It absorbs quickly into the soil, after which your dog is free to play in the grass as much as it likes.


Here is a brief conclusion to the article you just read above.

  • Wait 48 hours or two days after fertilizing to keep your dog off the grass.
  • Most fertilizers manufacturers claim they are pet friendly and absorb into the soil within two hours.
  • Even natural fertilizers like compost and manure are not safe for dog consumption, and it is better to use their tea instead.

No matter how much the fertilizer manufacturers claim that their formula is safe for pets, you cannot take any chances with your precious dog. Keep them off the lawn for at least two days, no matter what fertilizer you use. 

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