The 5 Best Pet Friendly Weed Killers: Safe and Effective

Filed in Dog Products by on November 12, 2020

Best Pet Friendly Weed KillerAre you looking for the best pet-friendly weed killer?

Believe it or not, there’s a way to kill weeds and also keep your pet away from harm at the same time.

While weed killers can be harmful to humans and pets, these picks should be safe for everyone.

We’ve chosen our best pet-friendly weed killers and given you the essential facts for you to pick the right one for you.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, but I only recommend products I find trustworthy and you pay nothing extra.

At A Glance: The 5 Best Pet Friendly Weed Killer Options

Best Overall Pick: Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer

Best for Charitable Causes: Just for Pets Weed Killer Spray

Best for Shelf Life: Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed & Grass Killer

Best Middle of the Road Choice: Natural Elements Weed Killer

Best Weed Preventer: Espoma Organic Weed Preventer

My Top Picks for Best Pet Safe Weed Killer

1. Green Gobbler Vinegar (Top Overall Pick)

Some choose to save the best for last, but we’re going to cut right to the chase. It can be hard to find a pet-friendly weed killer that is also effective – especially in the long-term.

Some formulas may claim to be “fast-acting” but require multiple applications before you see any real results. Others get the job done and keep your pet safe, but they take a heavy toll on your wallet!

That’s why Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer earned the Best Overall Pick title on our list. It checks all the boxes.

After spraying Green Gobbler on the biggest, baddest weeds in your yard, you will see results in a matter of hours. The company even promises “full desiccation” in less than 24 hours.

They’re so confident in their product that they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee if you aren’t completely satisfied, and customers give it high marks in reviews.

So, with all that weed-killing power, is Green Gobbler really that safe for pets, or even humans for that matter? Yes.

Green Gobbler is made from ethanol – a distilled product of corn grain – and vinegar. But this isn’t the average vinegar that you’d drizzle on a salad. “Normal” vinegar, the kind you’d have in the pantry, is a 5% vinegar solution.

On the other hand, Green Gobbler uses a whopping 20% vinegar, four times stronger and more acidic than the vinegar in your kitchen! All that acid is the secret sauce in Green Gobbler’s weed-killing formula, no matter how stubborn the weed is.

While it’s highly acidic while wet, Green Gobbler is perfectly safe for pets (and humans) to touch once it’s dry.

The two active ingredients, 20% vinegar and ethanol, are all-natural, so Green Gobbler is certified for organic use by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI). There are no harsh chemicals, and the formula is environmentally friendly.

At the Root: Green Gobbler earns the title of “Best Overall Pick” with its 20% vinegar and ethanol-based formula, combined with its rave reviews from customers. It’s certified for organic use by the OMRI, and shows results within hours of application.

2. Just for Pets  Spray (Perfect for Charitable Causes)

Next on our list is Just for Pets Weed Killer Spray. Not only do they offer a great product, but they focus on charitable causes.

Their weed killer is made from natural ingredients and receives high marks on Amazon. They list vinegar, citric acid, sodium chloride, glycerin, clove oil, and lemon juice as the ingredients for their spray – no harsh chemicals to be found.

They proudly boast that they are pet lovers too and will do anything to protect them. They donate a portion of every sale to animal shelters around the country and are committed to helping animals who are still looking for their forever home.

While Just for Pets Weed Killer is pet-friendly, it’s not friendly towards weeds and unwanted plants. It works extremely fast to eliminate weeds at the root, and many customers reported positive results within 24 hours of application.

It dries quickly, too, so you don’t have to worry about your dog getting residue on their paws. The price point is a tad higher for one gallon, presumably to account for the portion donated to animal shelters from each sale.

At the Root: Just for Pets Weed Killer earned the “Best for Charitable Causes” title because they donate a portion of every purchase to animal shelter nationwide. Their ingredients are all-natural and safe for your dog, but they act fast and eliminate weeds within 24 hours of application.

3. Doctor Kirchner All Natural (Long Shelf Life)

Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed & Grass Killer receives high ratings with lots of great reviews.

They claim that their product has a long shelf life and that their product was just like a new batch after 4 years.

Their formula is slightly different from the others on our list, with ocean saltwater doing most of the heavy lifting and food-grade vinegar and soap coming in with the assist.

However, there are still no toxic chemicals in the Doctor Kirchner weed killer.

The company is family-owned and operated out of Fort Pierce, Florida. Their community awarded them the Small Environmental Business of the Year for their all-natural product since it’s kid-safe, pet-safe, and environmentally-safe.

So why isn’t Doctor Kirchner our Best Overall Pick for this list?

While Doctor Kirchner’s weed killer is all-natural, it’s not certified for organic use like Green Gobbler is. It’s also more expensive for one gallon and may require a second application for more stubborn weeds.

That’s not to discount the eco-friendly, weed-killing power that Doctor Kirchner possesses, though! It’s still super safe for your pets once it’s dry and doesn’t pose a danger to the environment, either.

At the Root: Doctor Kirchner’s Natural Weed & Grass Killer receives high marks from customers and has an extremely long shelf life for use in the future. While this formula is not officially certified for organic use, it’s made with natural ingredients that are completely safe for pets once dry. The company proudly boasts a Small Environmental Business Award from its local community as well.

4. Natural Elements (Middle of the Road Choice)

The most middle of the road pick on our list is Natural Elements Weed Killer. This formula is contained in a gallon sized bottle and promises to eliminate the weeds in your yard in under 24 hours – sometimes in as little as one hour.

The formula is derived from vinegar, with sodium chloride listed as the main active ingredient, and there are no harmful herbicides or toxic chemicals in the solution.

Some customers say they were pleased with the results, but had to apply the solution a couple of times since the roots of the weeds were harder to kill.

However, the product listing states that it’s entirely safe for pets right after treatments, so you don’t have to worry about keeping your dog away from it once it dries.

At the Root: If you need a simple, budget-friendly solution, Natural Elements Weed Killer is the one for you. It’s safe for pets immediately after treatments, and will yield results quickly – even as soon as one hour.

5. Espoma Organic (Weed’s Preventer)

Maybe you’re tired of killing weeds whenever they pop up and would rather take steps early in the growing season to prevent them from happening in the first place.

Traditional weed preventers are chock-full of toxic chemicals that are dangerous for your pets (and family), so you’re better off finding a natural one that is only harmful to weeds.

Espoma Organic Weed Preventer has one active ingredient: corn gluten meal. Not only does this ingredient prevent weed roots from ever taking hold, but it also feeds your grass and provides extra nitrogen for a greener, thicker lawn.

You only need to apply it to your lawn or flower beds twice per year – once in the early spring and once in the fall. And since corn gluten meal is a natural ingredient, your pets can run and play on the lawn right after you apply Espoma Weed Preventer.

This product’s price is a little higher than other weed killers for a 25-pound bag, but keep in mind that one bag will cover about 1,250 square feet. If you’re using this product to spot-treat areas instead of covering your whole lawn, it will last for a long while.

Espoma Organic Weed Preventer is the Best Weed Preventer on our list for a few reasons. First, it’s cheaper per pound than other weed preventers; Espoma costs roughly $1.90 per pound, while another leading natural weed preventer costs upwards of $4.30 per pound.

Espoma also receives high ratings from customers, and you only have to apply it twice per year – other weed preventers require application every four to six weeks.

Additionally, it’s 100% safe for pets immediately after you use it, and even if they accidentally ingest some of the Espoma, it will do them no harm. Plenty of dry dog kibble contains corn gluten meal as a binder and source of protein anyway!

At the Root: Espoma Organic Weed Preventer is a fantastic, all-natural product to keep weeds from sprouting in your lawn or garden. It only requires two applications every year, is cheaper per pound than other weed preventers, and is perfectly safe for pets – even immediately after application. Bonus: it feeds your grass and makes it greener while keeping nasty weeds at bay.

Buyer’s Guide

How Regular Varieties Work and Dangers to Pets

Chemical weed killers can be dangerous to our pets either from the product in general or if not following the manufacturer’s instructions such as waiting a certain time for it to dry.

There’s a large number of weed killers available with their own ingredients and different methods of resolving weed growth. Here are some of the most popular:


This is one of the most popular weed killers and is the main ingredient in RoundUp. This herbicide essentially kills everything it touches as opposed to ones targeting just specific plants.

It works by blocking an enzyme pathway called the shikimic acid pathway that is necessary for plants to live.

You spray the liquid on existing plants and you’ll start to see them withering within 3-12 hours of applying it, and eventually dying within 7-14 days. It can kill plants down to their roots.

The problem with glyphosate is that some studies have shown it increases the risk of canine cancer. It’s also a human carcinogen.


Trimec, also known as 2,4-D, is also widely used as an herbicide to kill weeds.

This particular chemical only targets broad-leaved plants, which covers most weeds, but lets grass survive. It disrupts the cells of the weeds and eventually prevents their growth and kills them.

It can start working within roughly 4-6 hours of applying it and take about 2-4 weeks to see full results.

This chemical can poison dogs if they ingest grass treated with it before it’s completely dried.


This is a selective herbicide that only affects target weeds, but doesn’t hurt other vegetation. It kills these plants by inhibiting their lipids and preventing their development.

It’s effective at killing certain weedy grasses, but not broadleaf plants.

It does not work immediately but starts working within 2 to 3 days and you’ll see the full effect in 7-10 days.

It’s claimed that sethoxydim has a low toxicity in animals, but may have side effects in large doses. It may also irritate the eyes, skin, or throat if coming into contact.

How Pet-Safe Products Work

Pet-Safe Weed Killers use more natural ingredients to eliminate weeds. You’ll often see these herbicides containing a highly concentrated amount of vinegar in addition to other helpful ingredients. You may see ingredients such as salt and soap as well.

You’ll usually receive a bottle with a sprayer head and you’re ready to go.

The ingredients cause the weeds to shrivel up, but normally aren’t going to kill the plant at its root like the harsher chemicals in more unsafe weed killers.

Results can be fairly quick with some companies claiming you’ll see results in 24 hours.

However, with safer ingredients, there can be some downsides:

1.They can be less effective so weeds can come back since not killing the plant at its root.

2.They’re often not selective, so they’ll kill all plants that they come in contact with. This means it can also kill grass along with the weeds, so you’ll have to be careful where you spray.

Is There a Pet-Safe Ways to Get Rid of Dandelions?

Although many find dandelions pretty to look at, others prefer to get rid of them altogether. The fact is that dandelions are weeds and can easily take over a beautiful lawn.

If you have pets, getting rid of weeds or dandelions can be tricky. The last thing you want to do is spread dangerous chemicals that can harm your pet. Let’s go over a few ways that can work as natural alternatives.

One of the first ways is probably the most traditional, which is doing the work by hand. Pulling the dandelions from their roots can take some time but is well worth it to keep your pets safe. This method will likely take a while, depending on the area of coverage.

Your best bet is to use hand tools to pull or dig out the dandelions. You can water the soil to soften the dirt making it easier to take out the dandelions.

If you want to use a chemical to kill the dandelions, going natural is the ideal choice to keeping your pets safe. One option is by using vinegar. Rest assured that vinegar is certainly safe for pets. It’s non-toxic and even edible. Although your pets probably won’t appreciate the smell, you can rest easy knowing they’ll be safe.

Is There a Pet-Safe Spray That Won’t Kill Grass?

It’s hard to find a weed killer that won’t kill grass at the same time. Moreover, recent research has suggested that there are no alternatives available. Even natural treatments and safe herbicides will kill grass, such as vinegar.

What can you do? In this case, we recommend being careful with the application. It would be best to use a spray bottle where you can spot check treatments for weed removal.

If you want to keep your grass safe from accidental spray, a wand will work best as a fine, even spray. Always make sure to check the settings on your spray bottles as well.

You may find certain weed killers for particular types of weeds, but they are all made to kill grass as well. If you’re looking to keep your grass, using pet-safe weed killers would be ideal for cracks in the concrete driveway or isolated areas.

Is There a Pet-Safe Way to Kill Grass?

As mentioned before in the article, vinegar is the number one choice for killing weeds. It’s also safe for pets. Aside from killing weeds, vinegar can also be used to get rid of grass. Many of the products above contain vinegar. Additionally, each option above should kill both weeds and grass, even if just stating they kill weeds in their description.

Concentrated vinegar with a 20 percent solution can still be a strong application for your grass. It would be ideal to spray the solution without any pets in or around the area. You can let your pets back in the affected zone once the vinegar has dried.

Aside from vinegar, you may find other solutions on the market that are also safe for pets. Most of these products will have natural components, such as clove oil and citric acid. These can be excellent choices because they give off a more pleasant smell compared to other alternatives, including vinegar.

When it comes to selective treatments, you may be able to find options that only target weeds and grass while not affecting plant life. However, it would be difficult or even impossible to find a selective herbicide that only targets grass.

Is Roundup Safe for Pets?

Roundup has been a topic of controversy within the past decade. Although it has been proven to work with great results for killing weeds, the Roundup chemical is known to be harmful. In fact, studies have shown that it’s a known human carcinogen.

In other words, Roundup weed killer runs a risk of causing cancer. Because of this reason, it’s not a safe option for your pets. Finally, not only can Roundup affect your pets, but it can also affect humans as it carries carcinogen components harmful to people.

How do Allelopathic Plants Help Control Weeds?

Allelopathic plants are one of the most effective ways to manage weeds in your yard. These types of plants carry a chemical called allelochemical, which can inhibit or prevent the growth of nearby plants.

They also work to control weeds in a yard. Weeds that grow near the allelopathic plants will absorb the chemicals released by the plant. The chemical can be absorbed deep into the roots killing off the weeds completely.

Aside from weeds, allelopathic plants have been known to control insects, diseases in fields and more. Remember that these plants can also have an adverse effect on grass.


Well, we hope you were able to find the best pet friendly weed killer for your situation.

While each choice on our list has high ratings, some may be a better choice than others depending on your needs.

We have provided our best overall pick, best for charitable causes, best shelf life, best for your budget, and best weed preventer.

Please leave us a comment or question below.

Comments (5)

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  1. Stevewesela says:

    Where do I find any of these products

  2. Nancy Kohler says:

    I ordered green gobbler weed killer after reading this article. I received it today and it says on the label -“Danger – Harmful to humans and domestic animals”. So now I don’t know what to do with it. Do you know about this?

    • Todd says:

      Hmm that is interesting. I am reading conflicting information. On their product info, it says “Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed Killer is derived from corn. So, it is safer to use around kids and pets.” I will try to get in contact with the manufacturer unless you wanted to post a question on Amazon. Some users are recommending to let it dry for a few hours before letting pets near it again. I’ll get back to you.

    • Todd says:

      Ok I called the company. The good news is that it’s pet friendly. The warning is more related to not spraying it directly on them or letting them drink it. They also say to let it dry for a few hours before letting your pets near the area again.

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