Best pet-friendly weed killers for lawns

It can be a challenge to control weeds on your lawn. Besides, these unwanted plants can distort the look of your yard. Once they start growing, the hard work of eliminating them begins.

For most homeowners, the best and easiest way of getting rid of weeds is to use herbicides. Since these chemicals are harmful to vegetation, they can also be harmful to other living things, including children and pets. Therefore, you need to use the best pet-friendly weed killers to ensure the safety of your dogs and cats.

The primary reason to use the best pet-friendly weed killers is that some dogs eat grass, especially if you have been giving it a diet deficient in minerals, nutrients, and vitamins. So, when you spray your lawn with herbicides, the dog may ingest the toxic chemicals. This is why it is essential to use pet-friendly weed killers.

What are some of the best pet-friendly weed killers for a lawn?

Weed KillerTypeIngredientsPrice
Green Gobbler
Vinegar Weed Killer
non-selective20% vinegar
Doctor Kirchner
Weed Killer
non-selective- Ocean saltwater
- Vinegar
- Soap
Natural Armor Weed
and Grass Killer
Just For Pets
Weed Killer
non-selective- Vinegar
- Sodium Chloride
- Citric Acid
Espoma Organic
Weed Preventer
non-selectiveCorn gluten meal

If you are looking for a weed killer that is safe for pets, these are the best options:

1. Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer

Green Gobler

The Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer is a natural and organic herbicide used for killing clover weeds, white clover, moss, dandelions, and crabgrass.

It contains 20% acetic acid, which is powerful enough to eliminate unwanted plants within 24 hours.

The product is safe for dogs, and you can use it on driveways, concrete, sidewalks, barns, parking lots, between pavers, and barns among other areas.


  • Ideal for residential, agricultural, commercial, and industrial use.
  • It can eliminate both grassy weeds and broadleaf plants.
  • It kills unwanted plants on contact.
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  • It is non-selective which means it kills plants on contact

Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer is safe to use at home and ideal for homeowners that want a ready-to-use product. You only need to spray it on the unwanted plants.

2. Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed & Grass Killer

Dr Kirchner

The Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed & Grass Killer is a natural herbicide made from food-grade vinegar, ocean saltwater, and soap.

It is a safe weed killer for lawns because it does not contain hormone-disrupting chemicals.

As a non-selective herbicide, it will kill plants on your lawn within 24 hours of its application.


  • It can eliminate both grassy weeds and broadleaf plants.
  • It has a longer shelf life to allow you to use it for several cycles.
  • You can use it undiluted in a sprayer.


  • It is non-selective, meaning it will turn your lawn brown.

The Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed & Grass Killer is an ideal product for homeowners that want a non-selective, pre-emergent herbicide for applying on their lawns.

3. Natural Armor Weed and Grass Killer

Natural Armor

The Natural Armor Weed and Grass Killer is an all-natural concentrated formula that can eliminate over 250 types of weeds and grasses.

It provides a safe way to get rid of weeds without harming your pets or kids.

You can use it anywhere, including along fence lines, on driveways, gravel areas, shrubs, flower beds, pavers, patios, and parking areas, among other places.


  • It has a potent formula that can eradicate weeds within hours.
  • It can eliminate both grassy weeds and broadleaf plants.
  • It is an all-natural glyphosate-free herbicide.
  • It is selective, meaning that it will not harm nearby plants.


  • May not kill the roots of specific weeds.

If you want to kill weeds on your lawn and you do not know which product to use, consider the Natural Armor Weed and Grass Killer. It will eliminate over 250 types of weeds from your yard.

4. Just For Pets Weed Killer

Just for pets weed killerThe Just For Pets Weed Killer is a spray that contains all-natural ingredients for killing weeds such as wild violets and Canadian thistle, among others.

It is a pet-safe weed killer whose ingredients include acetic acid (vinegar), clove oil, sodium chloride, citric acid, lemon juice, glycerin, sodium lauryl sulfate, and water.

You can use the product as both a pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicide.


  • It can kill weeds within 24 hours.
  • Easy to use.
  • You can use it around ground pools.
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  • It will kill weeds and the grass on your lawn on contact.

The Just For Pets Weed Killer is an all-natural, easy-to-use product that is ideal for homeowners that are looking for a pre-emergent or post-emergent herbicide.

5. Espoma Organic Weed Preventer

Espoma pet-friendly weed killerThe Espoma Organic Weed Preventer is a pre-emergent herbicide made from 100% corn gluten meal.

This is a pet safe weed killer for cats that will prevent the germination of unwanted plants on your lawn by suppressing the development of their root seedlings.

As a granulated product that works better than plain cornmeal, you can use it to get rid of dandelions, crabgrass, and other common weeds.


  • Provides a long-lasting greening of your lawn that will not burn.
  • It is safe for children and pets.
  • Supplies the yard with nitrogen to make it thicker and greener.


  • It is expensive compared to similar products.

The Espoma Organic Weed Preventer is the best product to consider if you are looking for a pre-emergent weed killer.

How do weed killers work?

Weed killers, or herbicides, work by blocking the growth of cells in plants. When you apply them, the chemicals will target the enzymes that produce or form fats. As a result, it will halt the development cycle of the cells and kill them.

Understand that the enzymes that allow cell growth in weeds with broad leaves are not the same as those in grassy plants. Thus, some herbicides will only work on grassy-type weeds and others on broadleaf weeds.

What dangers do weed killers pose to pets?

Weed killers can be poisonous to your pets. Depending on the ingredients used to make the herbicide, it can cause different effects on a dog or cat.

For example, products that have glyphosate can cause lethargy, anorexia, and vomiting in animals. Tremors, dilated pupils, diarrhea, and drowsiness are other effects of the herbicide on pets.

Apart from glyphosate, chlorophenoxy derivative weed killers, such as MCPA, can irritate the pets and cause salivation, abdominal discomfort, and vomiting.

In severe cases, there may be progressive weaknesses, anorexia, and blood in the stool of the animals. Thus, only use a pet-friendly weed killer to protect your dog or cat.

When is the best time to use weed killers?

You can apply a weed killer at any time of the year. However, the best time to use herbicides is when the plants have started to sprout, usually in autumn and spring. During this time, the rhizomes absorb the chemicals more quickly.

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Another point to note is that herbicides can either be pre-emergent or post-emergent.

The former helps to disrupt the life cycle of the plants, especially when dealing with annual problems like summer weeds. In that case, you can apply them before the seeds of the plants start to germinate.

Post-emergent weed killers eliminate weeds upon contact. Once you apply them, the plants will absorb the chemicals and wilt within hours.

The best time to use the herbicides is when the weeds are new and young. For rhizomes that have already established, start by cutting them down and wait until they start growing.

Factors to consider before purchasing a pet-friendly weed killer

When shopping for a pet-friendly weed killer, pay attention to the following factors:

1. Pre-emergent or Post-emergent

You can either buy a pre-emergent or post-emergent weed killer. But that will depend on the type of weed problem you are facing. Buy a pre-emergent herbicide if you want to prevent the germination of new plants by stopping them from growing. Understand that some may not kill plants that have already invaded your lawn.

Buy a post-emergent weed killer if you want to kill weeds that have already grown. While these work all the time, understand that they will not prevent the re-growth of new plants.

2. Ingredients

Check to determine whether the ingredients used to make the weed killer are safe for your pets. Glyphosate is one of the many components used to make these herbicides. Although it is a chemical, it has low toxicity, but that will depend on the concentration used by the manufacturer. However, consider those that use organic elements, such as vinegar and salt.

3. Type of weeds it kills

Some weed killers can only eliminate broadleaf plants and not grassy weeds. Therefore, know the type of plant you have before making the purchase.

4. Type of weed killer

The different types of weed killers include non-selective, selective, residual, systemic, and contact. Each works differently to eliminate unwanted plants.

Ensure to choose the right product to avoid serious harm on your lawn.


The best pet-friendly weed killers are those that contain ingredients that will not harm your dog or cat.

When buying them online, consider those that can eliminate both grassy weeds and broadleaf plants. Also, go for a product that is easy to use, either through spraying or applying some granules.