Black And White Cat Sitting In Tall Grass
pet friendly weed killer
(Image credit: Jessica Belliere)

Your pets are as much a part of your life as your garden is and you want to make sure that they can enjoy your garden without it making them sick. While stores sell a number of weed killers, most of them are not very healthy for your pets, and you may want to use a pet friendly weed killer. Fortunately, there are a number of organic and pet safe weed control methods you can use to keep your garden healthy for your pets.

Types of Pet Friendly Weed Killer

Boiling Water

If you have an area that you need to clear weeds out of on a wholesale level, such as a driveway or a sidewalk or just a large weedy patch where no plants you wish to keep are growing, you may want to consider using boiling water. Boiling water is certainly a pet safe weed killer and it will instantly kill any plant it comes in contact with by literally cooking the plant in the ground. But be careful, boiling water will kill all plants, not just the weeds.


Vinegar works well as pet friendly weed killer. All you need to do is spray the vinegar on the plants that you wish to kill. For some tougher weeds, you may need to reapply the vinegar several times before the plant completely dies.


If you have an area that you do not wish to have plants growing at all, like a brick path or patio, salt works well as a pet safe weed control. Putting salt in an area will make the soil unsuitable for plants and weeds to grow in.


Believe it or not, sugar is also a pet friendly weed killer. It puts the soil organisms into overdrive and the soil becomes temporarily unsuitable for plants. It is great for killing weed trees, bushes or vines that are hard to pull out. Simply pour some sugar at the base of the plant you wish to kill. If you are concerned about it becoming an attraction to pests, simply mix the sugar with equal parts chili pepper to deter those possible pests.


Sometimes the most effective pet safe weed killers are the ones that stop the weeds before they even appear. Cornmeal has a chemical in it that acts as a pre-emergent on plant seeds. That means that it will prevent the seed from germinating. Sprinkling cornmeal in an area that you want to keep weeds out of will not harm the current plants but will keep weeds from growing.

Homemade Pet Safe Weed Killer

The nice thing about all of the above remedies is that any of them can be combined to make more effective pet safe weed killers. Just mix them together. If the mixture is liquid and you'll be using a spray bottle, add in a little dish soap. The dish soap will help the liquid stick to the weed better. Our pets are our friends and we don't want to do anything to harm them. Using products that are available in your house to make pet safe weed killers is less expensive, just as effective and much safer than using the dangerous chemicals sold in stores.

Heather Rhoades
Founder of Gardening Know How

Heather Rhoades founded Gardening Know How in 2007. She holds degrees from Cleveland State University and Northern Kentucky University. She is an avid gardener with a passion for community, and is a recipient of the Master Gardeners of Ohio Lifetime Achievement Award.