I’m no stranger to getting a little dirty and pulling weeds by hand. I’ve also been known to reach for the Roundup sprayer when clearing weeds from my back patio and garden path.
As a pet owner, I never use any lawn care chemicals without confirming that they’re safe to use around dogs and cats. If you have pets of your own, I strongly encourage you to do the same.
The good news is that Roundup is essentially safe for pets and other animals as soon as it dries. But exactly how long to keep animals away from Roundup-treated grass depends on a number of factors. The information below will give you extra peace of mind next time you treat your backyard or garden for pesky weeds.
Is Roundup Pet Friendly?
According to the National Pesticide Information Center, glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, poses minimal risk to pets and wildlife when used as directed. With that said, it’s important to remember that Roundup is a chemical and should be handled with the utmost care.
Like young children, pets have no way of knowing that Roundup is potentially toxic. It should always be stored somewhere out of reach of dogs and other curious pets. This also applies to items used with Roundup, such as refillable sprayers.
You should also take basic precautions when it comes to spraying Roundup on your lawn or garden. Do not let pets wander outdoors while you are treating the area with herbicide. I also recommend doing a lap around the area to pick up anything your pet may put in their mouth — i.e., toys, bones, sticks, etc. — to ensure it doesn’t accidentally get sprayed with Roundup.
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When Can Pets Go Back Into Yard After Using Roundup
Unless the label states otherwise, pets can walk on areas treated with Roundup as soon as the product dries. The reason for this timing is twofold.
The most obvious reason to keep pets off of treated grass before the Roundup dries is that you don’t want it to get in their fur or on their skin. If your pet has sensitive skin, just getting wet Roundup on their paw pads or another area could trigger a mild reaction. There’s also a more serious risk of them licking the Roundup off of themselves and, as a result, ingesting the herbicide.
The less obvious reason that you’re advised to keep pets — and people, too — away from freshly treated areas is that you don’t want to inadvertently track Roundup onto untreated areas. Walking across grass that is damp with Roundup and then, says, stepping into a garden bed could have extremely undesirable consequences. Waiting to allow foot traffic of any kind only after the Roundup has completely dried will ensure the herbicide stays exactly where you want it.
How Long Does Roundup Take To Dry
Roundup can dry in as little as 30 minutes. However, it can also take several hours. Factors like ambient temperature, sunlight, and humidity will play a role in how quickly Roundup dries on any given day.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so I recommend checking Roundup’s drying progress before letting pets back into the yard. When I spray Roundup in my own garden, I make sure to check the last section I sprayed as well as any particularly shady areas before concluding that the product is 100% dry.
Can Roundup Blow into Livestock Pens
Glyphosate is generally considered safe for use around livestock. Regardless, you should only spray Roundup on calm days with no wind. Not only could windy conditions blow the herbicide into nearby animal pens but they also make it nearly impossible to treat a specific area without also spraying adjacent plants.
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What To Do If Your Dog Licks Roundup
If you suspect that your pet has come into contact with and/or ingested Roundup, I strongly suggest contacting your local veterinarian immediately. They will be able to best advise you on what symptoms to watch for and whether or not emergency treatment is necessary.
The worst-case scenario for any pet involving Roundup is ingestion. While serious cases of poisoning are rare they can and do happen.
According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, improper storage and disposal are typically responsible for serious cases of herbicide poisoning. Mild cases may result from licking Roundup off of treated surfaces. Dogs are the most at risk since they tend to spend considerable time outside rolling and playing on the lawn.
Your dog may lick the herbicide off of its coat or paws after walking through a freshly treated area. It’s also possible for a dog to ingest Roundup by licking its owner’s shoes, clothing, or skin after they have been exposed to the herbicide. If your dog has outdoor toys, be sure to remove them from the area before applying Roundup.
Common symptoms of Roundup ingestion in canines include:
- Skin irritation (especially around the nose and mouth)
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Disorientation or any other unusual behaviors
- Labored breathing
Glyphosate Poisoning Treatment Dogs And Cats
Glyphosate poisoning may be treated by inducing vomiting – but only on the recommendation of a veterinarian. This can prevent any further absorption of the chemical into your cat or dog’s bloodstream.
Your vet may also prescribe IV fluids to flush the glyphosate from your pet’s body as quickly and safely as possible.
No matter the severity of your pet’s Roundup exposure, any and all treatments should be overseen by a vet. Do not attempt to induce vomiting or begin any other treatment unless your vet has explicitly advised it.
Verdict: How Long To Keep Animals Away From Roundup
For pet owners, the most important piece of information found on any bottle of herbicide is how long pets must be kept out of the area. When it comes to Roundup and other glyphosate-based products, the official advice is to keep pets away from sprayed areas until they are 100% dry.
When spraying Roundup on my own lawn, I make sure to let my dog out to play and take care of business right before I start. This maximizes the amount of time between the Roundup being applied and the next time he needs to go outside.
I also pick up any toys or sticks in the area before spraying. The last thing I want is for him to put something sprayed with Roundup in his mouth — dry or not.
If you’re still unsure about using Roundup on your lawn or have questions regarding glyphosate toxicity, your primary veterinarian is an excellent resource. It never hurts to educate yourself when it comes to the health and safety of your four-legged family members.