Top 7 Pet-Friendly Ways To Get Rid of Weeds

No one likes to have weeds in their yard.

And especially no one likes to hurt their pets while getting rid of the weeds.

So if we want to get rid of our weeds, but keep our pets safe, there are a few options.

These options for keeping our pets safe while weeding include pulling the weeds by hand, smothering the weeds, spraying horticultural vinegar on the weeds, burning the weeds with a torch, pouring boiling water on the weeds, creating homemade sprays, and using commercial pet safe weed spray.

Read on to find out what option might work best for your situation.

Why most weed killers are bad for pets

It isn’t easy to kill weeds.

Typically weeds are pretty strong and it takes more than just not watering the area for very long to kill the weeds.

According to

Many herbicides and pesticides, both of which can be used to kill weeds, are loaded with toxic chemicals. 

Most weed killers, such as the popular brand Roundup, contain glyphosate as their active ingredient. Glyphosate is a carcinogen that can cause liver and kidney disease, and exposure to it can even increase your chances for cancer.

Not only is glyphosate harmful to pets, but it’s dangerous to humans as well! It’s not safe for children, adults or animals, so it’s always best to avoid weed killers with glyphosate and opt for a more natural product instead.,dangerous%20to%20humans%20as%20well!

So weed killers are loaded up with harmful chemicals, but not only harmful to pets, but also to humans.

When we are humans are using the products to kill the weeds, we typically have to use gloves to cover our skin so we don’t hurt ourselves.

But out pets cannot protect themselves like we can.

We should all we can to protect our pets, since they cannot do it themselves.

So if you have pets that will spend some time around the areas where you kill or remove weeds, you might want to consider your different options.

1. Remove the weeds by hand

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Not the most fun option, but the best if you don’t want to spend any extra money on products to get rid of your weeds.

Plus a little bit of fresh has never hurt anyone.

You could spend quite a bit of time pulling the weeds manually out of the ground.

So, if you decide to pull the weeds out by hand, prepare to spend a lot of time with your hands and being tired later on.

You’ll want to start by putting on your garden knee pads.

This will help since you will be spending a lot of time on your knees while you are pulling the weeds out.

After you’ve got the knee pads on, put on the garden gloves.

Now there are some weeds that you should be able to pull out just with your gloved hands.

For the harder to pull out weeds, you will want to pull out the weeds using your trowel.

To do so, dig slightly with the trowel at the base of the weed.

Dig all the way around the weed.

Then pull slightly on the weed.

If the weed comes out, move on to the next weed.

If the weed doesn’t come out, dig a little bit more into the base of the weed until you can pull out the weed completely.

Then move onto the next weed.

Place all of the weeds you’ve pulled into the garden garbage and then when you are all done, toss the weeds into the garbage you take out each week.

Otherwise, leaving the weeds laying around may cause seeds to fall off the weeds and then you’ll find yourself pulling weeds once again.

As a final note, you will want to make sure to get the weed down to the root.

Anything less than this and you may see the same weed come back in a few months or weeks.

So be thorough in your pulling of weeds.

2. Smothering the weeds

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Weeds need sunlight and water to survive through the season.

So you can “cut them off at the pass” by covering them with someone that will keep them from getting what they need.

And mulch is great for doing this.

First, you will want to purchase mulch, either using the link above or going to your local hardware store.

The amount of mulch you purchase depends on the square feet you are attempting to cover.

When you are looking at the mulch bag, it should tell you how much square area it can cover, so pay close attention to that.

Once you’ve purchased the mulch, then you will want to open the mulch bag and use your shovel to start taking mulch out of the bag.

Slowly spread the mulch around the area in which you want to get rid of the weeds.

When you’ve gotten all the mulch out, bring out your rake and use it to spread the mulch out evenly in the areas you want to cover.

The mulch is going to do two things for you.

It will first keep the weeds from getting any sunlight (as long as you’ve covered them up well and thick enough with mulch).

Second, it will absorb most of the water that will fall in that area before it can even get to the weeds.

Pretty soon your weeds will wither up and die before they can even get established.

If you didn’t cover up the weeds thick enough with mulch, you may see weeds start to creep up from below the mulch.

In that case, you will have to pull them out manually, or use one of the other options to get rid of them.

3. Spray horticultural vinegar on the weeds

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Horticultural vinegar is another great option for killing weeds.

This vinegar is going to be stronger than household vinegar, so it is recommended that you use gloves while working with the vinegar.

There are two options you are going to have with using horticultural vinegar on your weeds: diluted and undiluted solutions.


The diluted solution is going to work better with the more leafy weeds you will find in your garden and yard.

Since the solution doesn’t need to be as strong to get rid of these weeds.

So first you will get your spray bottle and you will fill it up 8 parts water and 1 part horticultural vinegar.

This means, if you are putting in 8 ounces of water, you will then put 1 once of horticultural vinegar into the spray bottle.

Once you have done this, go out to the weeds and begin to spray them with the spray bottle.

It might also be a good idea to do this during the heat of the day, as the combination of heat and vinegar will more easily kill the weeds.


This is going to be for the more hardy weeds that aren’t so easily killed.

In this case, you are going to take your spray bottle and fill it up with the horticultural vinegar, without any water added to it (make sure to use your gloves while pouring the vinegar).

Make sure to label this spray bottle, so you know it is undiluted.

You are not going to want to accidentally use this bottle.

Once you have the vinegar in your bottle, go to town on the weeds.

But be careful with your spraying, because the undiluted horticultural vinegar could also kill other plants or grass if you aren’t careful with your spraying.

4. Burning the weeds with a torch

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Before we jump into this one, I feel like I need to have a disclaimer here.

Please be very careful if you decide to use this option.

Burning weeds with a weed burner/torch is not a game and could lead to a slew of problems if taken lightly.

Please make sure that you have a bucket of water around in case the fire gets out of control so you can quickly put it out.

Also make sure there are no kids around.

A weed burner is a great option if you have weeds in between cracks in your cement on in between bricks in a pathway.

This way, you don’t need to get down on your hands and knees to try to pull out each individual weed.

I helped my in-laws with this once around their firepit, where they had weeds growing up in between the bricks of the firepit and the walkway leading up to the firepit.

Get your weed burner and also a tank of propane gas.

Put on your work gloves, as the weed burner could get hot.

Fit the two together and then use the flint starter to start the weed burner.

Then very carefully go to all the spots where the weeds are and very carefully burn them with the weed burner.

Pay very close attention to the fire and use the water as needed.

Once done, make sure to turn the burner off and store the weed burner safely away in your garage.

5. Pour boiling water on the weeds.

Pouring boiling water in another option you have for weeds.

This will be useful for weeds in between cracks, just like the burning method.

Keep in mind, though, that the boiling water probably won’t get rid of the weeds at the roots, so you might have to repeat the process multiple times throughout the year.

Merely boil a pot of water and take the pot outside.

Walk over to where the weeds are in the cracks and pour the boiling water on the weeds.

Repeat as necessary.

6. Creating homemade sprays

There are a few options within creating your own homemade sprays.

Keep in mind that most of these options kill any plants that get sprayed, so be careful to not spray something that you don’t want to be killed.

Also, these doesn’t mean that it won’t irritate your skin, eyes, or nose.

So make sure you have proper covering to make sure not to injure yourself.

The best options for homemade sprays are clove and lemon oil.


Add 10 drops of clove oil into a spray bottle and then fill the bottle up with water.

Then take the spray bottle outside and spray the weeds you want to get rid of.

Continue to spray the weeds one time a day for a week or two.

If the clove oil spray doesn’t kill the weeds at 10 drop, try again with 20 drop instead.

The increased potency might be strong enough to kill the weeds if 10 was not enough.


Mix one cup of vinegar with 10 drops of lemon oil and put it in a spray bottle.

Add one cup of water to the spray bottle, then take the spray bottle outside and spray your weeds.

Keep in mind that mixing vinegar and lemon oil makes a pretty potent mixture, so you should be really careful where you spray.

7. Pet safe weed killers

There are a few options of pet safe weed killers.

Some thing to keep in mind is that these options may not be as strong as you may think.

But it is certainly worth a try to see if they will work.

If not, you have six other options you may try (see above).

Just For Pets Weed Killer Spray is one of those options you can try. It doesn’t contain any Glyphosate, so you don’t have to worry about it hurting your animals.

Much like some of the other options we’ve talked about, Just for Pets Weed Killer Spray will kill anything it comes in contact with.

Wear protective gloves as well, while using the spray.


When we have pets, we will do almost anything to make sure we keep them safe.

How we kill or get rid of our weeds is one of those times when we consider our pets.

We can spend the time removing the weeds by hand or smothering them with mulch.

Or we could burn the weeds, make a homemade spray or purchase some pet friendly sprays.

And if one spray doesn’t work, then you can try another until you find something that does.

Bill Lantz

Bill Lantz is a database analyst by day and a weekend warrior by... weekend. He's currently building up his own miniature homestead in Central Utah with his wife and six kids. Some of his interests include knowing random trivia about films, reading history books, and playing video games with the boys.

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