Exact answer: One to three days

Dogs and other pets, like children, play and run across the lawn. However, it is also excellent practice to limit their use of the lawn for 24-72 hours after fertilizing.

They are much closer to the ground and more inclined to burrow in the soil, making them more vulnerable to herbicides and insecticides. With the rise in pet allergies in recent years, please consult your veterinarian if you are concerned about any of the products used on your lawn.

If you have any unused fertilizer bags on your property, keep them stored away from pets, so they don’t try to claw into them. This is especially crucial for organic fertilizer, as some products contain animal bone or derivatives. In addition, if your pet consumes too much organic fertilizer, you may face an expensive vet bill because it can cause bowel obstruction and other digestive problems.

Can pets play on the lawn after it has been fertilized?

white and gray long fur cat on green grass during daytime

Fertilizer contains compounds that are extremely hazardous to pets. Some pets (particularly dogs) like eating grass, and ingesting grass that has been treated with hazardous chemicals can cause serious harm. After applying fertilizer, pets should not be allowed to stay on the lawn for two days.

Can lawn fertilizer harm dogs?

The bulk of plant fertilizers is nothing more than a combination of nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium. When utilized correctly, these chemical compounds do not hurt our dogs. However, if consumed in high numbers, they can cause severe harm to your dog’s intestinal tract, resulting in vomiting and diarrhea.

What about organic fertilizer?

Organic fertilizer is often a superior option for your lawn and the environment. Most people believe that organic fertilizer components are safer and prefer organic fertilizer blends to synthetic fertilizer blends.

However, “organic” does not imply that it is safe for your pet. Some organic fertilizers are created with animal products, which may attract your cat or dog to eat them. Organic fertilizer, like commercial fertilizer, can induce digestive troubles, intestinal blockages, stomach issues, and pancreas inflammation when consumed.

So, just because something is labeled “organic” doesn’t guarantee it’s safe for your pet. Before applying fertilizer, always read the application and safety directions thoroughly; don’t assume it’s safe because it’s organic.

How long after fertilizing the lawn is it safe for pets?

white and brown dogs on green grass field during daytime

Liquid fertilizer

Using liquid fertilizer on a lawn allows the soil to absorb nutrients more quickly than granular fertilizer; however, it is difficult to determine lawn safety after an application. If you use liquid fertilizer, you won’t be able to see the fertilizer on the lawn to be sure it’s been absorbed completely. Therefore, pets should avoid the lawn until it is visibly dried as a remedy.

Most liquid fertilizer suppliers recommend combining the fertilizer with water for soil solubility. The dryness of the lawn shows that both the fertilizer and the water have evaporated or been absorbed by the soil. If the fertilizer was administered according to the manufacturer’s directions, there should be no residual fertilizer on the grass blades.

Granular fertilizer

Granular fertilizer is one of the easiest to apply, appropriately and evenly. The tiny pellets are apparent when you scatter them across the grass blades. A thorough soaking of the entire lawn drives the fertilizer into the soil. Allow pets to return to the lawn after 24 hours from the last time you spotted granules on the grass blades. A full day allows the fertilizer to seep deeply into the soil and the water to evaporate.

Elapsed time

Wait two or 48 hours after the fertilizer application to ensure no fertilizer residue remains on the lawn. If it’s sunny during this time, it’s simple to see that the water used with the fertilizer has evaporated; granules or liquid fertilizers are deeply embedded in the soil by this point. Rainy days after fertilizer application help carry the fertilizer even deeper into the soil, although you may need to apply the fertilizer more frequently and allow for extra drying time.

Category Of PetsTime After Fertilizing Lawn To Use It
DogsTwo to three days
CatsOne to two days
two short-coated tan puppies on grass field during dayitme

Why does it take so long after fertilizing the lawn to be pet-safe?

Plants and grasses make up lawns. Some of the most commonly used plants are low herbs, sedges, wildflowers, and grass coverings appropriate for walking. However, depending on the seasonal temperature, precipitation, irrigation, and sun/shade tolerances, many additional plants can be used for the same purpose.

Botanical specialists are continually looking for new plant species ideal for lawn landscaping. These plants will be more environmentally sustainable since they will need less water and be more cost-effective.

Because numerous pesticides and other chemicals are used to fertilize the lawns, keeping pets away from the lawn after fertilization is important. If pets use the lawn right after fertilizing it, they will bring these chemicals inside the house.

In addition, because pets sit on beds and interact with children and other family members, they can expose them to toxins, harming both the animal and the pet owner.

Lawns have historically served an important role in maintaining the environmental balance, but they have recently become overestimated. Because lawns span a huge area and only a few little plants are put there, it is preferable to use the huge area to plant giant trees that can assist the ecosystem more efficiently. Lawns, on the other hand, are ideal for sports and festivities.

Effects of fertilizers on cats and dogs

Lawn fertilizer can be dangerous to your pets, depending on their size and the amount of fertilizer they consume. If your pet drinks commercial lawn fertilizer, it could result in major health problems such as abdominal pain, excessive drooling, vomiting, discolored gums, bowel obstruction, difficulty breathing, cardiac arrest, and even liver and pancreatic inflammation.

As a result, it’s important to keep your pets away from any areas of the lawn that have recently been fertilized. Allow at least 1-2 days for the fertilizer to seep into your lawn before allowing your pets back on it, depending on the weather (rainy weather equals faster absorption).

General fertilizer precautions and dogs

brown long coated dog on green grass field during daytime

As we all know, dogs are much closer to the ground than people. As a result, they are more vulnerable to the effects of fertilization. In addition, dogs are prone to digging and rolling around in the earth, exposing them to herbicides they should avoid.

  • It is important to be mindful of where you set your fertilizer to understand the limitations.
  • Don’t leave unused bags, and keep them locked so dogs can’t get into them.
  • Consider using organic fertilizer instead of other types if you do it yourself.
  • If your dog ingests fertilizer, it could pose a health risk, necessitating a trip to the vet.
  • When using herbicides, always use caution. In some cases, weed control chemicals are even more dangerous than fertilizers.
  • Most herbicide applications are liquids that, once dry, are impervious to transference. If your dog eats grass, we recommend watering the lawn before allowing your pets to run around the yard.

How to fertilize a lawn safely.

You can fertilize your grass safely if you follow the guidelines below:

1. Read and adhere to label instructions

Before applying fertilizer, make sure to read and follow the label instructions. Fertilizer manufacturers always provide instructions on using the product safely while protecting your lawn, pets, and children. Failure to read and follow instructions puts your family members in danger.

2. Keep your pets out of the treatment area.

It is important to remember that fertilizers contain toxic chemical ingredients harmful to humans, pets, and other animals. While even small amounts of fertilizer can cause problems, you should keep your pet away from fertilizers entirely. This includes storage, fertilizing, and cleaning up after treatment.

3. Make use of pet-friendly fertilizer.

Fertilizers that are safe to use around pets and children are frequently branded as pet-friendly or kid-friendly. After application, these fertilizers take little time. What is vital is that you strictly adhere to the label directions regarding when you can let your pets or children play on the lawn following the treatment.

4. Use granules.

Lawn fertilizer is available in both granular and liquid forms. Applying a liquid fertilizer allows grass to absorb nutrients instantaneously, but it isn’t easy to assess application accuracy and lawn safety after the application.

Granular lawn fertilizer is the most accurate and easiest to apply. The pellets are visible during application and will vanish after watering.

5. Don’t overdo it

Excess fertilizer is detrimental to both your lawn and your pets. Too much fertilizer on your lawn will interfere with the pH balance of the soil, causing harm or even death to the grass. On the other hand, excess fertilizer takes longer to absorb, therefore, your soil. Therefore, your lawn will not be safe for your pets or children even after the suggested 72 hours.

6. Thoroughly water after

After fertilizing, properly water your lawn. This helps absorb the treatment and makes your lawn safe for your pets and children. Water helps move fertilizer into the soil, allowing for faster absorption.

7. Remove any stray granules with a broom.

It’s natural for some granules to stray and land up on driveways, sidewalks, or patios, no matter how careful you are. Your pet or youngsters can easily ingest such errant fertilizer grains. As a result, you should be cautious and pick up any stray granules before they end up in neighboring rivers or your pet’s stomach.

8. Keep an eye on your pets while they are outdoors.

When your pets are playing outside, always keep an eye on them. If your dog ingests something poisonous in the garden, seek emergency veterinary care immediately. Take a sample of the drug with you to trace what they ate.

Pet-friendly lawn fertilizer

Weed control concept. weed killer series

Keeping your dog indoors for 72 hours until the grass becomes safe does not seem fair. This can be avoided by making use of pet-friendly fertilizers. The following are some of the top pet-friendly lawn fertilizers:

Epa-certified organic fertilizers

Organic fertilizers feature pet-friendly chemicals and need less time to apply. However, read the instructions carefully because there may be a recommended wait time before releasing your pet.

Slow-release meal fertilizers

Meal fertilizers such as bone, blood, cornmeal, and cottonseed meals are manufactured from plant or animal leftovers and are safe for dogs and children. On the other hand, dogs enjoy the smell and taste of bone and blood meals. Therefore, use exactly as advised, and keep any leftovers away from pets.

Grass clippings

Because grass clippings are high in nutrients, leave them to decompose on your lawn rather than raking and bagging them. These plant components contain nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, all of which are important nutrients for the growth of grass and other plants.

Compost manure

Compost manure from plant and animal waste is an extremely rich and pet-friendly fertilizer. However, it is important to use manure to avoid a harsh odor once thoroughly decomposed. You may also add grass clippings to your compost as a nitrogen source.


Seaweed contains several trace minerals, nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, all required to grow. Seaweed is safe to use around pets, but always read and follow the label recommendations. This pet-friendly fertilizer is available in both ground and spray-on liquid forms.

How to keep dogs away from your lawn

Aside from protecting your pet during a chemical treatment, keeping unwanted pets off the lawn is important. Dogs can tear up your lawn, dig holes in the yard, and spray urine that will burn your lawn grass while they play and roll on it.

There are several methods of keeping unwanted dogs or cats off the grass.

  • Use a motion-activated sprinkler. This is one of the most effective outdoor pet repellents for the yard. When a dog or cat moves, the sprinkler activates. Unwanted visitors will be scared away from your yard by the automatic water spray.
  • Build a fence around your lawn. Wire fencing is a cheap method of keeping dogs off your property. Chain link fences, wire mesh fences, and barbed wire fences are all good options for enclosing your grass. Fencing can also be made of wood, metal, or vinyl.
  • Plant prickly or spiky bushes. A live fence around your grass enhances the beauty of your landscape. In addition, thorny plants or prickly blooms might help keep pets out of your yard.
  • Use natural repellent sprays. A lavender or vinegar spray over your lawn can help keep dogs and cats away from it. Avoid putting vinegar directly on your grass or flowers; vinegar may cause the plants to die.

While we appreciate the beauty of our lawns, our canine companions use them as play areas. Because a lawn cannot survive without fertilization, there comes the point when we must keep our pets off the lawn to protect them from potentially hazardous chemical treatments. Use lawn fertilizers as suggested on the label, and keep your children, dog, and other pets away from the lawn until it is safe for them to use. 

What should I do after fertilizing?

You should water your lawn. Giving your lawn an adequate level of hydration is vital for the grass and aids in the absorption of fertilizer by the grassroots. But unfortunately, it also permits the fertilizer’s chemicals to penetrate the soil.

Allow two days before allowing people on the lawn. Before stepping on your lawn, make sure it is entirely dry. If the lawn has recently been fertilized, don’t let your children run around on bare feet.

In the case of emergency

So, how can you tell whether your cat or dog has been poisoned by fertilizer? You are the most familiar with your pet and can usually recognize something wrong. Vomiting, tremors and seizures, an irregular heart rate, extreme lethargy, excessive drooling, frequent urination, or diarrhea are all warning signs.

Contact your veterinarian immediately if you notice your pet showing any of these symptoms. The sooner you get your pet, the medical attention they require, and the higher the chances of a full recovery. It is also important to provide your veterinarian with the type of fertilizer used for treatment and rehabilitation. As a result, always retain a photo of the fertilizer ingredients on your phone for future reference.


A lawn is a piece of land containing small plants and grasses. Lawns are popular in parks and are utilized for various outdoor activities. Lawns can be created anywhere, whether at home or work. However, lawns require a lot of upkeep and should be watered regularly.

It is recommended that pets not visit the grass for one to three days after fertilizing it. This is because toxins are used to fertilize lawns, and pets might become potential carriers of such chemicals, which can harm the pet’s family.