Posted on 1/19/2017
Category: pets

Originally published in CT Dog Magazine

Let’s begin by rethinking our definition of a “perfect lawn” to be in the best interest of your dog’s health as well as your family’s. After all, it is our responsibility to keep our pets healthy and safe.

Lawn chemicals are exceedingly dangerous, toxic and a very real contamination threat to your dog as well as you! The seemingly benign “weed and feed” and turf builders applied to your lawn contain the herbicide 2,4-D. This chemical was used during the Vietnam war and is a component of Agent Orange which is responsible for sickening so many of our Veterans. Several lawn pesticides currently used in the U.S. are banned in other countries according to

According to a published study by the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, exposure to lawn pesticides raises the risk of canine malignant lymphoma, a progressive fatal disease by as much as 70%. Another study from the Science of the Total Environment also associates these chemicals with high bladder cancer risk in dogs and dramatically increases the risk in Scottish Terriers!

Synthetic fertilizers may contain mercury, lead, and cadmium as well as salts that can contaminate our water supplies and harm the beneficial organisms in your lawn. Chemicals are subsequently tracked indoors continuing the dangerous exposure to your pets and your family.

Here is the GOOD NEWS: you can have a perfectly healthy, safe and beautiful lawn using an organic natural system! The first step is to have a soil test performed (including pH levels). Treatments based on those soil test results could include the application of compost tea, organic slow-release fertilizers, nutrient rich natural compost as well as other natural, organic solutions.

Another natural and safe contributor to a healthy, beautiful and safe lawn for your pet is to aerate, dethatch and overseed in the Fall. This will reduce compaction and allow nutrients in your Fall lawn treatments to be absorbed into the soil for maximum benefits.

Mowing height is important in regards to weed control and to promote strong root growth of your grass. Keeping your mowing height to 3-1/2”-4” will assist with a better water holding capacity conserving water which is better for our environment and your wallet.

We all have a responsibility to honor our earth and environment by keeping it safe and healthy for our pets, families, and community. Your dog and your grass will always be healthier on the organic side!!

Leslie Marconi

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Originally published in CT Dog Magazine