Pre-emergent herbicides are used for preventing weeds, most commonly, crabgrass from germinating. There is a great need for pre-emergent herbicides in Texas because crabgrass is prevalent in all cities. Check out this article titled, “When to Apply Pre-Emergent for Crabgrass,” to know when you need to start applications.

If you’re a home-owner and a dog-owner, you’re probably wondering, are pre-emergent products safe to use around my fur baby? It’s an important question.

Dogs truly are their owner’s best friends. It’s really more of a kinship than an ownership. Dogs are included in marriage proposals, they go on vacations, and out to eat. They do all the things.

So it makes sense that you want to do everything you can to keep your pup safe. Today I’m going to give you the 411 on pre-emergent herbicides and dogs.

Pendimethalin or Pendulum

Pendimethalin is a man-made chemical that is used as an herbicide, primarily as a pre-emergent. It is effective for treating grassy weeds.

The Environmental Protection Agency rates this chemical as having a low toxicity rate. Because of this rating, some herbicides that contain pendimethalin say that they are safe for pets. Nonetheless, animal studies have shown adverse effects, such as cancer and thyroid problems.

Pendimethalin comes in both a liquid and granular form. If you’re using the liquid, your dog should not come into contact with your turfgrass until it is dry.

When you’re using the granular form, your dog should not be outside until the product has been watered and has fully absorbed. Dogs with long coats can get the granular pieces stuck in their fur. This can lead to ingestion and poisoning.

For either liquid or granular form, recommendations state waiting 48-72 hours before letting your pet come in contact with your lawn.

Prodiamine or Barricade

Another popular pre-emergent herbicide is prodiamine. Prodiame is an effective herbicide commonly used to treat crabgrass and sandburs. You should be treating for crabgrass and sandburs in early spring. This is also a great time to do a general cleanup of your lawn and landscape.

While this product does provide optimal results, please note that the EPA classifies prodiamine as a Group C chemical, which means that it is a possible carcinogen.

Still, prodiamine is thought of as being safe for pets if used correctly. This means keeping pets out of the area the product is being applied to and only allowing them back into the area once the product is fully absorbed.

Corn Gluten Meal

Corn gluten meal is a by-product of the corn milling process. It contains about 10% nitrogen and is used as a pre-emergent to treat crabgrass.

This is a natural and organic product. Corn gluten does not stop seeds from sprouting, but it does inhibit the roots from establishing. Because of this applications need to be timed precisely.

According to Neil Sperry, who is a renowned figure in the field of horticulture, corn gluten meal is not reliable. You can read more on this topic in his question and answer column May 2010.

Corn gluten meal is also more expensive than other pre-emergent herbicides and will need to be applied more times.

Final Thoughts

Vizla on lawn.

The general consensus is that if you use pre-emergent products correctly, they will not harm your dogs. With that being said, always read the label and follow the directions as instructed. Or make your life easier and call Evergreen Lawn & Landscape to take care of weed control for you.

When you choose products, choose products with lower toxicity levels. If you’re not sure, ask a salesperson for guidance.

Minimize the exposure your dog will have with the product before and after application. Store all herbicides in a secure location where there is no chance pets can access them. Remove all your dog’s toys and water/food bowls from the area before starting the application.

Sometimes, no matter how careful you are, accidents can still happen. Know the signs of herbicide exposure and be ready to act quickly.

If you notice your pet exhibiting any of the following symptoms call your veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control hotline.

Herbicide Exposure Symptoms

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Convulsions
  • Bleeding
  • Unconscious

Keeping your dog safe requires time, effort, and knowledge. I hope this article provided you with pertinent information to help you ensure the safety of your best friend.