Homemade Weed Killer Safe for Pets: Taming Weeds Naturally and Pet-Friendly

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Keeping your garden beautiful while making sure your beloved pets are safe from harmful chemicals can sometimes pose a challenge. Thankfully, there’s a natural ingredient homemade weed killer safe for pets you can easily make and use to keep those persistent weeds under control.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the significance of using a pet-safe weed killer and provide you with an effective do-it-yourself recipe list. Bid farewell to weeds without compromising the well-being of your four-legged companions!

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Understanding the Risks of Commercial Weed Killers

Let’s get real and discuss those store-bought weed killers openly. Sure, they promise to terminate your troubles with weeds, but what about the unintended and sometimes very harmful effects on our fur babies? 

Prepare yourself for some eye-opening insights into the potential hazards of commercial weed killers and why going the pet-safe route is the way to go. 

Say goodbye to harmful chemicals and create a pet-safe outdoor space with an effective homemade weed killer safe for pets.

Harmful Effects of Chemical-Based Weed Killers on Pets

Approach everything with a grain of salt, but consider that chemical-based weed killers might not be as harmless as they appear! These products often hide toxic surprises that can wreak your pets’ health. 

To keep them wagging their tails happily without any worries, keep an eye out for the following symptoms, especially if you’re visiting someone else’s lawn:

1. Mild Skin Irritations

Your pet might develop: 

  • Redness
  • Itching, or
  • Irritation on their skin

2. Digestive Upset

Swallowing even small amounts of chemical weed killers can upset your pet’s stomach, leading to vomiting or diarrhea.

3. Respiratory Issues

Harsh chemicals can irritate your pet’s respiratory system, causing coughing or difficulty breathing.

4. Lethargy

Some pets may feel lethargic or unusually tired after exposure to chemical weed killers.

5. Loss of Appetite

The intense odor of these products might put your pet off their food for a short time.

6. Excessive Salivation

Your pet might drool excessively as a reaction to the unpleasant taste or smell.

7. Paw Pad Irritation

Treated areas could cause irritation on your pet’s paw pads.

8. Allergic Reactions

 Allergic reactions could lead to skin rashes or hives in your pets.

9. Nervous System Effects

Some of the scariest effects could be tremors and seizures.

10. Organ Damage

Long periods of exposure to harmful chemicals could lead to organ damage.

Safety first, always! That’s why I recommend you use a natural homemade weed killer safe for pets and avoid the store-bought options.

Common Ingredients in Commercial Weed Killers to Avoid

Time to play detective and investigate those ingredient labels! Watch out for shady characters, like:

  • Glyphosate: Ah, the infamous glyphosate, the main villain in many commercial weed killers (RoundUp, for example). This powerful herbicide has been an object in multiple research. Studies proved it could increase the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) – a cancer of the immune system – by up to 41%. Best to avoid it!
  • 2,4-D: While it may sound like alphabet soup, 2,4-D is a herbicide that can control broadleaf weeds but also cause harm to pets and other wildlife. 
  • Dicamba: This chemical is known to have the unfortunate side effect of drifting from the target area, potentially harming nearby plants and posing risks to your pets. Dicamba might also increase the risk of cancer.
  • Mecoprop: This herbicide, often used in lawn weed killers, can be harmful to pets if they come into contact with treated grass or soil.
  • Simazine: Found in some pre-emergent weed killer liquids and powders (it kills the weed seeds), simazine can have negative effects on aquatic life and should be handled with caution around pets.

Guess what? All of these aren’t pet-friendly at all! Ditch those risky choices and opt for a natural approach to weed control that:

  • Keeps your pets safe
  • Your garden happy, and
  • Your conscience clear
Homemade Weed Killer Safe for Pets

Homemade Weed Killer Safe for Pets

Benefits of Using a Homemade Weed Killer Recipe

1. Safer for Pets and Kids

Homemade weed killers use pet-friendly ingredients, keeping your furry pals and little ones out of harm’s way.

2. Environmentally Friendly

By opting for natural alternatives, you’re doing your part in preserving our planet’s health.

3. Budget-Friendly

Whip up the weeds from your driveway or sidewalks and cracks using common household items, saving those hard-earned bucks for better things.

4. Chemical-Free Gardening

Embrace a gentler approach to weed control without compromising on effectiveness.

5. Easy to Make

Mix, pour, and spray! Homemade weed killers are a breeze to make, no science degree is required.

6. Accessible Ingredients

You probably already have most ingredients in your kitchen pantry, or you can easily find them in every local grocery store.

7. All-Purpose

There is a DIY formula, no matter if you’re fighting:

  • Dandelions
  • Crabgrass
  • Ivy
  • Clovers

Remember, the beauty of homemade weed killers safe for pets lies in their simplicity and safety. Your fur babies, wallet, and the Earth will thank you for making the switch!

DIY Recipes for Pet-Friendly Weed Killer

Let’s dive into the world of pet-safe DIY weed killers! Say goodbye to harmful chemicals and say hello to a lush garden and happy pets. 

Here are some pet-safe weed-killer recipes to get you started:

Avoid using a harsh or mild dish soap like Dawn, baking soda, bleach wipes (Clorox or Lysol wipes, Wet Wipes, etc), white vinegar or hydrogen peroxide on your Lululemon or regular yoga mats. These substances can damage the integrity and components of your mat.

1. Vinegar Solution

Ingredient List and Their Purpose

  • White Vinegar (1 gallon): A natural herbicide that dehydrates weeds and prevents regrowth.
  • Dish Soap (1 tablespoon): Enhances the mixture’s sticking power, ensuring better coverage on weeds.


  • Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water.
  • Add a few drops to a tablespoon of dish soap for better adherence.
  • Spray directly on the weeds, avoiding any desirable plants.

2. Salt Solution

Ingredient List and Their Purpose

  • Salt (1 cup): Helps to kill weeds by disrupting their cellular structure.


  • Mix 1 cup of salt in 8 cups of warm water.
  • Stir until the salt dissolves completely.
  • Spray the solution on the weeds and avoid contact with other plants.
Lawn Care - You can also pour boiling water onto weeds to kill them. Be careful not to hit other plants or your grass with the boiling water as it will kill them as well. This is a great solution for spaces like around trees, side walks, driveways, etc.

3. Boiling Water

Ingredient List and Their Purpose

  • Water (as needed): Boiling water acts as a natural herbicide, scorching and killing weeds on contact.


  • Boil water in a kettle or pot.
  • Pour the boiling water directly onto the weeds, ensuring complete coverage.
  • Take care not to pour it on desirable plants. I’d apply this grass killer on the sidewalk cracks but not on a lawn or in the garden.
If you don't want to mix the cleaning solution, you can make a quick yoga mat cleaner by using rubbing alcohol. Look for a strong isotropic rubbing alcohol and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray it onto your yoga mat and then use a washcloth to wipe it off.

4. Rubbing Alcohol

Ingredient List and Their Purpose

  • Rubbing Alcohol (1 part): Alcohol dehydrates and kills weeds.
  • Water (4 parts): Helps dilute the rubbing alcohol for safer application.
  • Dish Soap (a few drops): Enhances the solution’s sticking power for better weed coverage.


  • Mix 1 part rubbing alcohol with 4 parts water.
  • Add a few drops of dish soap and stir well.
  • Spray the solution on the weeds, avoiding contact with other plants.

5. Corn Gluten Meal

Ingredient List and Their Purpose

  • Corn Gluten Meal (as needed): Acts as a natural pre-emergent herbicide, inhibiting weed growth. 


  • Sprinkle cornmeal around the base of the weeds.
  • Cornmeal acts as a natural pre-emergent herbicide, inhibiting weed growth.
If you want to add a pleasant scent to your cleaning solutions, you can include essential oils. Simply add a few drops of tea tree oil, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemongrass, or lavender oil to either the Castile soap and water mixture or the rubbing alcohol mixture. Do not use citrus-like drops of lemon juice as that will mold, and the acidity can break down the mat.

6. Homemade Herbicide

Ingredient List and Their Purpose

  • Vodka or Rubbing Alcohol (1 tablespoon): Alcohol dehydrates and kills weeds.
  • Orange Essential Oil (1 tablespoon): Orange oil has natural weed-killing properties.
  • Water (2 cups): Dilutes the mixture for safer application.


  • Mix the vodka or rubbing alcohol, the orange essential oil, and the water.
  • Stir until the ingredients are fully combined.
  • Spray the mixture on the weeds, but avoid desirable plants.

7. Lemon Juice

Ingredient List and Their Purpose

  • Fresh Lemon Juice (as needed): The citric acid in the lemon juice kills the weeds.


  • Squeeze fresh lemon juice and pour it directly onto the weeds.
  • The acidic nature of lemon juice helps to kill the weeds.
  • Avoid contact with other plants, as lemon juice can also affect them.
Use a dish soap garden spray to keep bugs like aphids, and beetles off your plants. Works on both vegetable and flower plants. Make a pepper spray to make your plants taste bad to those pest trying to nibble on your leaves. You can find my full tutorial on how to make these amazing sprays here -Save Your Garden Sprays

8. Hot Pepper Spray

Ingredient List and Their Purpose

  • Hot Peppers (such as chili peppers): The capsaicin in hot peppers acts as a natural weed killer.
  • Water (as needed)


  • Blend hot peppers (like chili peppers) with water.
  • Then, strain the liquid and pour it into a spray bottle.
  • Spray the solution directly on the weeds.
1. Place Epsom Salt in a bowl

9. Epsom Salt Solution

Ingredient List and Their Purpose

  • Epsom Salt (1 cup): Epsom salt dehydrates the weeds and hinders their growth. 
  • Water (2 cups): To dilute and dissolve the Epsom salt.


  • Mix 1 cup of Epsom salt with 2 cups of warm water.
  • Stir it until all of the salt dissolves.
  • Spray the solution on weeds only, avoiding contact with desired plants.
eco cleaning baking soda

10. Baking Soda

Ingredient List and Their Purpose

  • Baking Soda (as needed): Interferes with weed growth by altering the pH levels in the soil.


  • Sprinkle baking soda directly on the weeds.
  • Baking soda alters the pH levels in the soil, which interferes with weed growth.
  • Don’t apply it to desirable plants, as it is harmful to them, too.

Remember to exercise caution and test these DIY weed killers in a small area before applying them widely. Additionally, ensure that you apply these solutions directly to the weeds, not the surrounding soil or plants.

Other Pet-Friendly Weed Control Methods

Natural Weed Control Techniques to Complement the Homemade Weed Killer

Every fall we use our fallen leaves and place them in the garden. This suppresses the weeds and smothers them to keep them from growing. In the spring, we till the leaves into the soil and plant them for the next season. Other suppressants include mulch, and hay.


Organic Mulch (wood chips, straw, dried leaves, etc.): Suppresses weed growth by blocking the sunlight and acting like a terrific weed preventer. 


  • Apply a layer of organic mulch (such as wood chips, straw, or dried leaves) around desirable plants.
  • Mulch helps suppress weed growth by blocking sunlight and inhibiting weed seed germination.
  • This method is effective for preventing new weed growth rather than eliminating existing weeds.

Landscaping Fabric 

Landscape Fabric forms a protective barrier against weeds while allowing water and nutrients to reach your garden’s plants. 

Lay down landscape fabric around desired plantings, covering the soil completely. Secure the fabric edges with garden staples or rocks to prevent weed growth.

You can definitely pull weeds by hand making sure that you get all of the roots out, but sometimes you'd like a way that is a little easier than that.

Hand Pulling 

Simply grasp the base of the weed (near the soil), and gently pull upwards to remove the entire plant, including the roots. Be thorough, especially with perennial weeds, to prevent regrowth.

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Tips for Maintaining a Pet-Friendly Garden

Tips for Maintaining a Pet-Friendly Garden

Having a beautiful garden that’s safe for your pets is easier than you think! Check out these handy tips to create a delightful pet-friendly haven in your backyard.

1. Choose Pet-Safe Weed Killers

Stick to DIY weed killers or pet-friendly alternatives to safeguard your furry pals from harmful chemicals.

2. Read Labels Carefully 

If you opt for store-bought products, read labels to avoid any weed killers containing toxic ingredients.

3. Create Pet Zones 

Designate specific areas in your garden for your pets to play and roam freely, away from treated areas.

4. Regular Garden Inspections 

Keep an eye out for new weeds and deal with them promptly to prevent weed overgrowth.

5. Encourage Thick Lawns

A thick and healthy lawn naturally suppresses weed growth, so keep your grass well-maintained.

6. Hand Pulling 

Roll up your sleeves and manually remove weeds by hand, ensuring your garden stays pristine.

7. Mulch Magic

Mulch around your plants to hinder weed growth and give your garden a polished look.

8. Train Your Pets

Train your pets to stay away from treated areas and respect garden boundaries.

9. Stay Vigilant

Monitor your pets for any signs of discomfort or illness, and seek veterinary attention if needed.

10. Regular Garden Cleanup

Removing debris and fallen leaves will minimize weed habitats and enhance your garden’s appeal.

11. Choose Pet-Safe Plants

Opt for pet-friendly plants in your garden. Avoid toxic varieties that could pose risks to your pets if ingested.

12. Avoid Chemical Fertilizers

Minimize the use of chemical fertilizers, as they may contain harmful substances. Consider organic alternatives to nourish your garden soil.

Say goodbye to harmful chemicals and create a pet-safe outdoor space with an effective homemade weed killer safe for pets.

Homemade Weed Killer Safe For Pets Q&A

What is the best non-toxic weed killer safe for pets?

Look no further than the DIY weed-killer recipes shared in this blog post! With ingredients like: 

  • White vinegar
  • Salt
  • Rubbing alcohol, and 
  • Dish soap

These pet-safe solutions are your go-to for eliminating weeds without endangering your beloved pets. Embrace the natural power of these non-toxic options and reclaim your garden as a safe haven for your furry companions.

However, the general rule of thumb says you should allow a full 24 hours after spraying weed killer before letting your pets back into the treated areas. This ensures any lingering residues or risks have vanished, providing a safe and happy environment for your furry companions to explore.

How long after spraying weed killer is it safe for pets?

Safety first! Always read the label of store-bought weed killers and follow their recommendations. 

Does vinegar kill weeds permanently?

While vinegar is effective in killing existing weeds, it may not provide a permanent solution. Vinegar acts as a natural herbicide by dehydrating weeds, but it doesn’t target the roots entirely. As a result, some weeds may regrow over time. 

To achieve longer-lasting results, consider using vinegar with other weed control methods or maintaining regular weed management practices.

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