Is Dithiopyr Safe For Dogs?

Enjoying my freshly cut lawn with a cold glass of lemonade while my puppy gleefully plays in the grass is one of my favorite summer pastimes. However, the only way I can have both a healthy lawn and a healthy dog is if I use pet-safe weed control techniques.

Dithiopyr is a popular pre-emergent herbicide that can be harmful– or even fatal– to dogs if not used properly. It is vital that we pet owners educate ourselves about the advantages and disadvantages of available chemicals, herbicides, and pre-emergents for us and our fur babies. 

Are Pre-emergents Safe for Dogs?

Pre-emergents are not the same as weed killers and herbicides. They are a preventative measure applied to the soil where unwanted weeds and grasses try to grow. The goal of an herbicide is to block weeds and crabgrass from emerging. 

Remember not to use pre-emergents near your desirable plants. If you only want to block certain weeds and grasses, try using selective pre-emergents rather than non-selective ones. If you use a non-selective pre-emergent, be careful when applying the granules or liquid product.

There are homemade DIY recipes for pet-friendly pre-emergent applications, as well. DIY products are safe and easy to make using household products. However, they require heavy application per square foot and are sometimes not as effective as commercial products. 

If using a pre-emergent or herbicide that advertises as an organic product, be sure to verify its claims by cross-referencing the ingredients at the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI). OMRI is an independently funded nonprofit that reviews herbicides and weed killers. 

It is also vital that you read labels and familiarize yourself with the names of chemicals you want to avoid. Some common herbicides include dangerous components such as chloroform, sethoxydim, and carbon tetrachloride. 

Pet-Friendly Pre-emergents


Dithiopyr is considered safe for dogs once it has dried. Be sure to keep your dog indoors while the product is being applied. Once it is dry, the dog can run back outside during potty time. 


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates pendimethalin as low in toxicity, though they have been associated with some potential health concerns such as thyroid problems and cancer. 

Because of its low toxicity rating with the EPA, pendimethalin is sometimes labeled as a pet-safe or pet-friendly product. However, it must be used appropriately to be considered safe. Do not let your dog come into contact with liquid pendimethalin until it has dried. Do not let your dog around granules sprinkled on the soil until it has been watered down.

Corn Gluten Meal

While corn gluten meal is not a weed-killer, it can act as a pre-emergent. Containing high levels of nitrogen, corn gluten meal can suppress weeds by blocking by interfering with their germination. Corn gluten is a non-selective pre-emergent which means it can suppress all seeds from sprouting, not just weeds. Its best advantage, though, is that it is safe for pets. 

What Herbicides Are Pet-Friendly?

Natural Armor Weed and Grass Killer All-Natural Concentrated Formula. Contains No Glyphosate (128 OZ. Gallon)

The National Pesticide Information Center stresses that most herbicides can be used in a safe manner. While many herbicides have labels boasting that they are pet-safe, they can still be harmful if not used properly. Similarly, if herbicides that contain questionable chemicals are used appropriately, it minimizes potential harm. 

Natural Armor 30% Home and Garden Vinegar

This active ingredient in this product is vinegar– a popular, pet-safe weed killer. You can also choose to use watered-down vinegar or mix vinegar with dish soap for a similar result. 

Natural Armor Weed and Grass Killer

This pet-friendly product’s active ingredients include vinegar, sodium, glycerin, and essential oils. This product may have an advantage over other options because it uses multiple natural herbicides and not just vinegar. 

Preen Weed Preventer

Unlike many natural products that use vinegar as the active ingredient, Preen Weed uses corn gluten meal. Corn gluten meal is a versatile lawn and garden product, as it can suppress unwanted weeds while fertilizing desired plants and grasses. 

Toxic Herbicides to Avoid


The EPA gave prodiamine a C-rating for being a carcinogen– meaning it can cause cancer. It is considered safe for pets as long as it is used correctly. However, I recommend considering alternatives. 


The active ingredient of Roundup, glyphosate, has been the subject of lawsuits for being a known carcinogen. The National Pesticide Information Center warns that animals that come into contact with moist glyphosate can experience worrisome symptoms such as excessive sleepiness, drooling, and gastrointestinal problems.  

How Long After Spraying Herbicides Is it Safe for Pets?

Dogs and Girl Playing in Lawn

The rule of thumb for pets and herbicides is to be sure that the herbicides have completely dried or diluted before letting pets outside to play in the area. If it is a liquid herbicide, be sure that the crabgrass, broadleaf weeds, and other foliage are completely dry. If using granules, be sure that it was been diluted with water before turning pets loose.

Another imperative step is following the instructions on the herbicide’s packaging. Understand how many square feet your product covers, how it should be applied, and heed any warning labels on the product. 

What Should I Do If My Dog Eats Weed Killer?

If you suspect your dog has ingested a harmful herbicide, contact your veterinarian immediately. You can also call Animal Poison Control at 888-426-4435.

While your first instinct may be to induce vomiting and get the toxins out of your pet’s body, refrain until speaking with a veterinarian. In some cases, the dog may need to receive meds through an IV or be hospitalized.

Last update on 2024-07-16 / Affiliate links / Somes Images and Data from Amazon Product Advertising API