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Best Pet-Safe Lawn Fertilizer: GreenView vs Scotts vs Sunday vs Gnome vs Espoma

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Last Updated: April 29, 2024 | 8 min read | 1 Comment

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Most people want to have a lush lawn that knocks our neighbors away. But did you know that many lawn fertilizers are harmful and even deadly for your pets? If you have dogs who go outside often, you must keep them safe from all the toxic chemicals in most lawn care products.

Fortunately, you have some pet-friendly lawn fertilizers that can help you achieve your grass goals. Surprisingly, few pet-safe lawn products are on the market, so we’ve researched to help you find your best options.

Winner Runner-UpThird Place
Sunday Lawn care packagingScotts Natural Lawn FoodGreenView Turf Nurture Review
Sunday Lawn CareScotts Natural Lawn FoodGreenView Turf Nurture

How Do I Know If A Lawn Fertilizer Is Harmful?

Our best advice is to read labels and avoid all lawn care products that aren’t marketed as safe for pets. If the ingredients aren’t all-natural, they’re likely not entirely safe for your pets. The biggest culprits are products that contain insecticides and snail bait. But some products also contain herbicides and pesticides that could cause anything from an upset stomach to seizures if ingested.

This consideration is essential if your dog is a grass eater. If this sounds like your canine, you may want to consider pet insurance to help cover unexpected vet bills, like accidental poisoning.

Best Pet-Safe Lawn Fertilizer

We’ve chosen our top picks based on pets’ safety, quality of ingredients, performance, customer reviews, and other factors.

Winner: Sunday Review

Sunday lawn unboxing

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Sunday is a customized lawn care subscription that offers all-natural, pet-friendly spray fertilizer, iron-based weed killer, pet spot repair, grass seed, organic fertilizer, and more. Every plan is based on your unique soil, climate, and lawn. But if you don’t want to commit to a subscription, you can purchase their fertilizer and other products like pest control à la carte. Each fertilizer pouch covers up to 3,000 square feet.

Sunday Lawn Care Yard Analysis Screenshot showing your lawn's regional soil profile, growth potential, temperature, rainfall, and predicted soil analysis properties and nutrient levels.
Here’s an example of what you can expect from your custom lawn analysis, including the regional soil profile, growth potential, temperature, rainfall, and predicted soil analysis.

How does the subscription work? You start by entering your address, and they give you an instant regional soil, climate, and lawn analysis. You then answer a few questions about your lawn care habits and the current state of your lawn, and Sunday determines precisely what your lawn needs every season.

Sunday lawn care pick your plan screenshot showing 4 types of plans ranging from basic for $109 up to the pet plan for $243.50 with each plan showing what it includes.
Sunday gives you 4 options to pick from depending on your lawn’s needs, giving you the ability to pay in payment plans or for the full season up front.

Depending on the time of year you purchase, most Sunday lawn plans include three shipments of nutrients with two to four pouches each. In your first shipment, you also get a spray nozzle and a soil test kit, which measures your yard’s macro/micronutrient levels, pH, organic matter, and cation exchange (CEC). You mail the sample, and the lab processes it within three to four weeks.

Your climate and grass growth drive each shipment date. Customer support is available with lawn care experts to help you troubleshoot any issues. Your subscription automatically renews, but you can cancel anytime.

Grass Machine Fertilizer ingredients: nitrogen, soluble potash, iron, potassium acetate, seaweed extract

Sunday Lawn Care yard comparison side by side photos with the left photo treated with Sunday showing green grass and the lawn treated without Sunday on the right less lush.
The left side of the photo is my lawn using Sunday Lawn Care. On the right is a neighbor’s lawn, professionally treated with harsh chemicals. My lawn is a much more vibrant green than my neighbor’s lawn.

My Personal Experience With Sunday Lawn Care

I started using Sunday for my lawn care needs in spring 2021. I’ve noticed massive improvements to my yard over the years and am thrilled with the results. I’ve used nearly every product they offer, including fertilizer and nutrients, premium grass seed, weed control, pest control, pet patch, and more.

My favorite Sunday product is their Pet Patch; the before and after photos of my lawn are shocking. You can see the images in our full Sunday Lawn Care Review, including pictures throughout the different seasons and using the different products on my lawn.

Environmental Impact Of Sunday Lawn Care

Sunday’s entire company is dedicated to reducing their and customers’ footprints. To do so, Sunday is constantly innovating, applying new sustainability standards, and donating to nature-minded organizations. Below are 2022 numbers regarding Sunday’s impact on the environment.

  • 2,459,400 sq. ft. of new pollinator habitat due to free wildflower seeds distributed by Sunday to customers to plant
  • 2,149,808 lbs. of fertilizer reduced
  • 79,061 lbs. of pesticides reduced
  • 140,875 lbs. of plastic material in products reduced
  • 1,876,565 sq. ft. of yard space planted with diverse plants from Sunday
  • 63.9 metric tons of plastic use prevented by developing a flexible gallon pouch and sprayer

Sunday has many goals for the future, including:

  • Developing products built to prepare lawns for increased heat and drought
  • Aiming to conduct EcoImpact COMPASS Packaging Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) for all core products by 2025
  • Making rigid containers recyclable
  • Increasing recycling and donations
  • Sourcing more product pouches domestically and preventing thousands of miles of sea freight

Sunday feels strongly about reducing, recycling, and reusing.

  • Donated their surplus of 6,894 wildflower seed packets
  • Donated 400 gallons of liquid nutrients
  • Recycled 18.4 tons of corrugated material and 0.5 tons of plastic
  • Recycled or donated 50% of their product and packaging waste

Sunday Lawn Care Price

  • Customized plans start at $109 per year
  • Individual fertilizer pouches start at: $25

Coupon

Use code KICKOFF20 to get 20% off all lawn plan purchases. Just use this link to get started.

Runner-Up: Scotts Natural Lawn Food Review

Scotts Natural Lawn Food

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Scotts Natural Lawn Food is made from all-natural ingredients and contains no harmful or toxic chemicals. You can use it around pets and kids, and it’s safe to walk on right after spreading the granules. It also doesn’t have an unpleasant odor.

Scotts recommends using it four times a year for an optimal lawn. One bag will cover 4,000 square feet of your yard. Most customers say it delivers fantastic results.

Ingredients: nitrogen, phosphate, soluble potash, calcium, and sulfur

My Personal Experience With Scotts

I haven’t used this specific product from Scotts, but I used many of their other products before switching to Sunday. Overall, Scotts did a great job, but many of their products weren’t pet-safe or earth-friendly, so I switched to Sunday.

Environmental Impact Of ScottsMiracle-Gro

ScottsMiracle-Gro is focused on improving waterways across the U.S. by changing Scotts product formulas, improving application devices, and forming alliances with environmental partners. ScottsMiracle-Gro has improved waterways in the following ways.

  • Removed phosphorus from their lawn maintenance products to help decrease harmful algae blooms in waterways
  • In Florida, fertilizers contain 65% slow-release nitrogen (most counties require 50%). Lawns with slow-release nitrogen stay consistently strong and serve as a barrier to runoff during heavy rainfall.
  • Edgeguard® technology helps fertilizer stay on the lawn and not flow into the waterways.

ScottsMiracle-Grow has improved the global environment across its brands in many ways.

  • It is the nation’s largest recycler of green waste. 5 billion pounds is redirected out of landfills and into high-value compost.
  • Helped protect or restore more than 4 million sq. ft. of U.S. wetland and shoreline habitat.
  • In 2020, they diverted over 23,000 tons of waste from landfills.
  • By 2025, the amount of plastic material used in their packages will be reduced by 3%, and the amount of recycled content in their packaging will be tripled.
  • 20% of their sales fleet will be converted to hybrid vehicles by 2025.

Scotts Natural Lawn Food Price

  • 29.1-lb bag (QTY 2): $80.52

Third Place: GreenView Turf Nurture Review

GreenView Turf Nurture Review

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GreenView Turf Nurture Natural Base Lawn Fertilizer is rich in natural and organic materials to give your lawn the boost it needs while keeping your pets safe. It contains 70% slow-release nitrogen and no harmful chemicals.

It’s ideal for dull, stressed grass caused by drought, heat, and cold. And it’s excellent for promoting sustained growth. You apply the granules on any grass type in spring, summer, and fall. One bag covers 2,500 square feet.

Ingredients: nitrogen, soluble potash, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur

Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any details about GreenView’s environmental impact.

GreenView Turf Nurture Natural Base Lawn Fertilizer Price

What About Espoma Fertilizer?

Although Espoma didn’t make our top three picks, it’s also a fantastic choice for a healthy lawn.

Espoma EOLB30 Organic Lawn Food

Espoma EOLB30 Organic Lawn Food

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Espoma is a well-known manufacturer of various organic lawn and garden products. This lawn food is all-natural, environmentally friendly, and kid and pet-safe. One bag feeds a 5,000-square-foot lawn. It’s pricey, but most customers say it works well if you want an organic product. This product is meant for early spring fertilization, but Espoma also carries organic all-season lawn food, a summer revitalizer fertilizer, and a fall winterizer.

Ingredients: nitrogen, calcium, and sulfur derived from feather meal, pasteurized poultry manure, and gypsum

Environmental Impact Of Espoma

Espoma continues searching for ways to reduce its carbon footprint and customers. They do so by

  • Having products approved for organic use by the CDFA (California Department of Food & Agriculture)
  • Utilizing renewable and sustainable ingredients
  • Never uses sludges or fillers
  • Using no hazardous or toxic ingredients, making them safe for people, pets, and the planet
  • Using 100% solar power in their manufacturing facility saves more than 1.6 million pounds of greenhouse gas emissions annually
  • Having zero waste during its manufacturing process
  • Implementing recycling programs in its manufacturing facility and headquarters

Espoma Organic Lawn Food Price

  • 30-lb bag:

What About Gnome?

Gnome Lawn Care Review Magic Lawn Plan

Gnome closed its doors briefly but was acquired by a new team. Things are slowly moving back into place but some products show they’re out of stock. If you need a lawn care plan available now, we recommend trying Sunday Lawn Care.

Is Weed And Feed Safe For Dogs?

“Weed and feed” is a universally used term for any lawn care product that combines fertilizer and herbicides to help kill weeds and promote a healthy lawn. Most of these products contain chemicals that can harm your pets if they get the toxins on their paws or fur. We’re not aware of any pet-safe weed and feed products, so what can you use instead?

Pet-Safe Alternatives

Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer

We recommend using one of the pet-friendly lawn fertilizers we’ve reviewed above and a separate pet-safe weed killer, like Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer. Green Gobbler is a certified organic weed killer derived entirely from corn and formulated into a powerful vinegar acidic spray containing no harmful chemicals like those found in Roundup.

You can also use a pet-safe weed preventer to keep those pesky weeds from growing in the first place. Espoma Organic Weed Preventer is made from corn gluten meal and is safe for pets and children immediately after application. You sprinkle the granules in early spring and fall to inhibit weed root growth. It also provides long-lasting nitrogen for a healthy lawn.

What’s The Most Toxic Lawn Chemical For Pets?

See what one veterinarian reveals as the most toxic lawn chemical for pets and some symptoms to watch out for if your pet gets ill from being around a variety of lawn care products.

How Do I Save My Lawn From Dog Urine?

Using pet-safe lawn products is likely only one of your concerns when dogs are in your yard. Is your dog doing a great job of harming your grass when he pees outside? If so, check out our article on how to stop dog urine from killing your grass. We have some expert tips for you and suggestions for eliminating pet odors outdoors.

I’ve had great luck with Sunday’s Pet Patch and would recommend it to anyone. It’s easy to apply to the lawn, and I’ve seen fast results. It also makes the grass look even more vibrant and lush.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

Canine Journal’s team considers the health and safety of our pets in every decision we make. This includes how we treat our lawns. Kimberly is passionate about supporting our ecosystem and planet. She is an avid gardener and spends a lot of time outside. She tried the treatment-free approach to her lawn but realized it wasn’t right for her family. They spend a great deal of time outside barefoot, and stepping on poky weeds is far from comfortable. Plus, she’s noticed her dog winces in pain from stepping on an unexpected thorny weed, which poses a slew of paw-related accidents and vet bills that she doesn’t want to face. However, using harsh chemicals was out of the question because she tries to provide safe places for bees and other pollinators. She knows dandelions are a favorite of bees, but she can’t help the frustration she feels when they overtake her yard. She’s found a good compromise by opting for Sunday’s pet-safe, smart lawn plan and planting over 100 varieties of plants in her yard to attract pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. She’s ecstatic with the results she has had in her yard and is happy to share her knowledge with our audience.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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