Fertiliser is used by most homeowners to keep their lawns looking their best. Fertiliser feeds the lawn and encourages it to grow lush, green blades. However, most commercial fertilisers are made from chemicals that are harmful to pets. Dog-friendly lawn fertilisers are available to keep your lawn healthy while keeping your canine safe and healthy.
Grass grows from the roots and feeding the roots is essential for proper growth. Fertiliser is applied to the lawn and works down into the soil to feed the grass. Dog-friendly lawn fertilisers use natural ingredients to provide nutrients the grass needs. It is used throughout the growing season to stimulate growth and protect the grass during times of high heat and drought.
Dog-friendly fertiliser uses non-toxic materials instead of strong, often dangerous chemicals to feed the soil. Safe fertilisers for your lawn are made of all-natural ingredients such as bone meal, seaweed and dried blood that will not harm your dog if it ingests them. Dried manure is also used as fertiliser and local farmers and ranchers always have a steady supply. Manure should be allowed to dry completely before being applied to the lawn to keep it from burning the blades.
Fertiliser should be applied in early spring before the grass begins to grow, and again in midsummer to combat the heat and dry conditions of the season. Spread a thin layer of fertiliser over the soil with a spreader, taking care to fertilise under low-lying shrubs and bushes. Water the lawn thoroughly to allow the fertiliser to soak down to the roots. Mow the lawn as normal once the grass is dry.
Using dog-friendly fertiliser on your lawn can actually be cheaper than chemical fertilisers. As of 2010, a bag of chemical fertiliser costs approximately £16 and will cover 5,000 square feet of lawn. The same size bag of pet-safe fertiliser can be purchased for roughly £9. If you choose to fertilise with manure, farmers will often give it away for free as long as you are willing to load and haul it away yourself.
Keep the dog off the lawn for at least a day to allow the fertiliser plenty of time to soak into the ground and be absorbed into the grass. Many dogs are attracted to the scent of natural fertilisers and may roll in the grass more than normal after application. Dogs also enjoy the taste of manure, so don't be alarmed if the dog ingests large pieces left on the lawn.