Weed Control Without the Worry: Discover 5 Pet-Safe Homemade Weed Killers


Jun. 8 2023, Published 12:47 p.m. ET

Dog rolling in a field of dandelions.
Source: iStock

Weeds can be annoying when they show up uninvited in your garden. You may pull out the weed killer in your frustration to eliminate the weeds. But commercial weed killers can harm more than those dandelions — they're dangerous for humans, too! Even more upsetting, commercial weed killers are very dangerous for your pets.

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Nibbling on a plant with commercial weed killers can make your dog or cat seriously ill. In a worst-case scenario, it can prove to be fatal. You can use homemade weed killers to eradicate the weeds without worrying about your favorite furry friend. Here are some alternative pet-friendly weed killers to try.

Spraying weed killer on dandelions.
Source: iStock
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Everyone should have a jug of white vinegar in their home. It is a natural solution for cleaning your home, removing stains and softening your laundry. What you might not know is that vinegar is also an effective weed killer.

You can spray vinegar directly on weeds to kill them or combine it with salt to ensure the dead weed won’t grow back. Adding a little dishwasher soap to a mixture of one gallon of white vinegar and one cup of salt will help your homemade weed killer stick to weed.


You can combine salt with vinegar to kill weeds or use it alone. According to Gardening Know How, salt dehydrates the weeds and disrupts the internal water balance of plant cells, eventually killing them. Salt also provides effective weed control because no plants will grow in an area where you put salt on the soil. However, you should know if you put salt on an area, nothing will grow there, even the plants you want.

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Cute little kitten in grass.
Source: Getty Images

Clove oil

Clove oil is a good option if you want something to kill the weeds without hurting your flowering plants. It can also be used to keep the squirrels out of your garden and away from your bird feeders. To make a pet-safe weed killer with clove oil, add ten drops of the oil to two cups of boiling water. After the mixture has cooled, put it in a spray bottle and spray the target weeds once a day. If it doesn’t seem to be working, you can add more clove oil to the spray bottle.

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Lemon oil

Try lemon oil for those tough weeds that don’t seem to wilt from other pet-safe weed killers. To make a lemon oil weed killer, mix ten drops of the oil with one cup of vinegar and one cup of water. Shake the mixture well enough to ensure the lemon oil isn’t floating at the top. However, lemon oil creates a powerful weed killer that harms the plants around it, so be careful when using it.

Dandelion seeds blowing in the wind.
Source: Getty Images


You can stop weeds in their tracks before they even have a chance to grow by adding cornmeal to the area you want to be weed-free, reports Gardening Know How. It works by preventing the weed’s seed from germinating. Therefore, you need to apply it to the target area before weeds can grow. It won’t kill perennial weeds like dandelions that are already rooted, but it will kill the seeds those weeds disperse.

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