Collection: Lawn Fertilizers Exposed! Yard Chemicals Harm Your Pets

Yard chemicals harm our four legged friends, the following articles expose the chemicals and their effects to our dogs and cats.

Yard Chemicals Can Harm our Dogs

Often the most lush lawns and gardens in the neighborhood have been liberally treated with pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, and other chemicals that neither you nor your pet should be exposed to.

According to a study conducted over a 6 year period at the Foster Hospital for Small Animals at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, exposure to lawn pesticides, specifically those applied by professional lawn care companies, raised the risk of canine malignant lymphoma (CML) by as much as 70%

Dogs at highest risk for acquiring CML were over 50 pounds and living in homes where pesticides and herbicides were professionally applied, as well as homes where owners used lawn care products containing insect growth regulators, aka chemical killing agents.

Another study performed at the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at Purdue University concluded certain garden and lawn chemicals are linked to canine bladder cancer, including common herbicides containing 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), 4-chloro-2-methylphenoxypropionic acid (MCPP) and/or dicamba.

The dogs’ exposure to the chemicals occurred through ingestion, inhalation, and transdermally. Breeds with a genetic predisposition for bladder cancer, including Beagles, Scottish Terriers, Shetland Sheepdogs, West Highland White Terriers, and Wire Hair Fox Terriers are at particularly high risk.

The study showed that most of the dogs from homes using the chemicals had herbicides in their urine. Since some dogs from homes that did not use the products also had herbicides in their urine, researchers concluded the wind could carry the chemicals up to 50 ft from the site where they were applied.

We are just beginning to study the far-reaching harmful effects of the huge numbers of environmental chemicals that negatively impact all of our health.

Play it safe so your pet can stay safe

The veterinary experts recommend the following:

  1. Do not apply chemical pesticides or herbicides to your yard, and if you use a lawn care service, do not allow them to use them. Also be aware that a neighbor’s lawn chemicals can potentially contaminate your property and pose a risk to your pet.
  2. Avoid lawn care and other gardening products that contain insect growth regulators (IGRs). And be aware that the chemical pyriproxyfen, an IGR, is used in certain flea/tick spot-on treatments.
  3. Do not allow your pet access to any lawn unless you can confirm no pesticides or herbicides have been used.
  4. Increase the number of baths and foot rinses spring through fall, when chemical application is highest along public highways, parks, schools, streets and public nature preserves.
  5. If you live in a townhouse or community that applies chemicals to common areas, detoxing a patch of grass in your backyard by watering the chemicals down into the soil to reduce skin contact after application.
  6. Keep your pet on a leash and on the sidewalk until you have walked to your pesticide-free destination, and consider a periodic detoxification protocol for your pet.



Yard Chemicals are Harming our Dogs!

Springtime is here and that means we’ll be cracking out herbicides and fertilizers to kill weeds and enrich our lawns and gardens. Here’s why you should think twice.

 Many herbicides, with one in particular containing 2,4-D, an ingredient in Agent Orange, are linked to at least two kinds of cancer in dogs. And if you’re using a professional lawn service – a company with access to chemicals and compounds not available to regular homeowners – the risk is elevated.

According to researchers at Tufts University, “The use of professionally applied pesticides was associated with a significant 70% higher risk of canine malignant lymphoma (CML)… risk was also higher in those reporting use of self-applied insect growth regulators.”

The Tufts six-year study found that the use of lawn pesticides was associated with a greater risk of canine malignant lymphoma (CML), a model for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) in humans. And an earlier study showed that herbicides with 2,4-D doubled the risk of CML when owners sprayed their lawns four or more times in a year.

2013 study showed an increased risk of dogs developing bladder cancer following the use of 2,4-D herbicides. And some breeds are more susceptible due to a genetic predisposition: Beagles, Scottish Terriers, Shetland Sheepdogs, West Highland White Terriers, and Wire Hair Fox Terriers.

“Chemicals were detected in the urine of dogs in 14 of 25 households before lawn treatment, in 19 of 25 households after lawn treatment, and in 4 of 8 untreated households,” the authors said. “Chemicals were commonly detected in grass residues from treated lawns, and from untreated lawns suggesting chemical drift from nearby treated areas.”

So when your lawn service places a sign in your yard warning that “this lawn has been treated,” they’re doing it for you and your pets. Now consider the public dog park you’re visiting. Are they using pesticides or herbicides?

More information can be found at the National Pesticide Information Center.



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