One of the most pleasurable parts of summer is being able to spend lots of time outdoors with the ones you love, which of course includes your family pet. And while you don’t want to be unnecessarily worried about every single possible thing that could potentially harm your pet while they are outdoors, it is also very wise to be prudent when allowing them to run around outdoors. There are definitely a few things that can cause them harm, including such as the products that are used in lawn care.

Keeping Pets Safe for Summer

There are many summer hazards for pets, including increased temperatures, the risk of dehydration, sunburns, and sunstroke. Other hazards we may not normally consider include toxic plants in our home or yard or the chemicals that we sometimes use in order to care for our lawn. However, the fact is that pets are often more curious than cautious, and it’s therefore up to us to protect them from any potential harm they may encounter outdoors. To that end, one of the best summer safety tips for pets has to do with evaluating your lawn care.

There are many different products and chemicals that can be used in lawn care for different purposes. One chemical that is currently of particular concern is 2,4-D, which is often used with other herbicides in an effort to control weeds. According to the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, this chemical may possibly be carcinogenic to pets. That said, chemicals that are intended to be used in this way (on lawns where they can be contacted by people and pets) are usually very carefully studied and tested before they are permitted to be sold on the market. This normally includes both short-term and long-term toxicity studies with rodents to see what happens when high levels of the chemical come into contact with the skin or eyes or are inhaled or ingested. This is how chemical levels are regulated and instruction and warning labels are written. It would seem to logically follow, then, that an individual who carefully follows the instruction labels on their lawn care products are able to use them in a way that should be safe for their pets.

According to the National Pesticide Information Center, 2,4-D has varying levels of toxicity depending upon what form it is in. This is why it is especially important for pet owners to carefully read and follow the labels on the product. As an example, many lawn care professionals and veterinarians believe that sprays that contain 2,4-D should be allowed to fully set and dry, at which point they will have minimal adverse effects on pets. A couple additional tips a pet owner should follow to keep their furry companion safe include:

  • Watch your pet and learn their habits. Some pets don’t care much for the lawn, while other pets like to roll and lay on the lawn and still others love to eat the lawn. If your pet enjoys rolling and laying on the lawn or even eating the lawn, it is wise to keep them away from treated areas and discourage them from eating the lawn.
  • Consider treating your lawn a different, safer way. You may enjoy having a nice, weed-free lawn, but there is no denying that your pet’s health is paramount. There are other, safer ways to treat your lawn–such as through the use of boric acid or essential oils.

Chances are that your pet enjoys spending time outdoors in the summer just as much as you do, and will be grateful for every opportunity you give them to do so. They depend upon you to make sure it is safe for them to be outdoors, and with some careful planning, you can rest easy knowing that they will be fine.