Last updated on April 29th, 2021
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What do you do if you have a problem with weeds but you also have children or pets who love being in the garden? Do you keep them indoors for days or even a week while your weed killer does its job, listening to their repeated requests and whines (the dog, maybe) about wanting to go outside. You don’t have to put your family through this turmoil if you choose a weed killer that doesn’t harm pets or children.
Our Best Pet Friendly Weed Killer Review tells you about the best wildlife-friendly weed killers that we’ve found. We give you details about each one and then summarise that, and maybe more, in a list of pros and cons for each product. We end that section with a brief recommendation for the product. We also have a Buyer’s Guide that informs you of what to look for when you consider which pet-friendly weed killer to buy. We end with a FAQ section that considers some of the concerns that people have about using weed killers.
We address one important concern head on and briefly here. You’ll find another discussion in the Buyer’s Guide and yet another one in the FAQ. The issue is about the chemical glyphosate and whether it’s safe for humans and animals. Glyphosate is found in most of the weed killers in this review and that’s why it’s important to know about it. Some countries have banned products with this herbicide in it yet many others have said that it poses no threat. Scientists around the world are torn on this question. Some studies have shown that it might be carcinogenic for humans and others that it’s noncarcinogenic.
With these mixed views, it’s up to you to make your own decision. If you decide to look for a pet and child-friendly weed killer without this chemical, we recommend looking at the second product we review.
Please note that all the weed killers below are marketed as being safe for pets and children after the treated area is fully dry.
This is the choice for you if you want to make your own weed killer. Look at our review of this vinegar to find a recipe to do so.
6 Best pet friendly weed killers for your garden
- Gallup Home & Garden Glyphosate Weed Killer
- Golden Swan White Vinegar
- Roundup Tough Weed Killer
- Roundup Fast Action Weed Killer Pump ‘N Go Ready To Use Spray
- Weedol Pathclear Weed Killer Liquid Concentrate
- Resolva Pro Ready To Use Weed Killer
Top Pet Friendly Weed Killers
1. Gallup Home & Garden Glyphosate Weed Killer
The Gallup Home & Garden Glyphosate Weed Killer comes as a concentrate with the same amount of glyphosate that you find in professional weed killers so it’s very effective. You know that it’ll be strong enough for all your annual and deep-rooted perennial weeds. This weed killer is nonselective so it kills any vegetation it touches, so be extra careful about where you use it. A single application kills most weeds.
There’s no residue or odour with this Gallup Home & Garden product. Once it’s dried you can’t tell where you’ve applied it so keep a record of your application plan. You spray on this weed killer. You can use regular garden sprayers or a personal sprayer such as one in a knapsack for ease of moving around the garden. This pet-friendly product is safe on paving and other hard surfaces as long as you spray it directly on the base of the weeds.
The Gallup Home & Garden Glyphosate Weed comes with gloves and a 60ml measuring cup. The dilution ratio is 30ml of concentrate per 1 litre of water, but always read the instructions on the label.
Pets and children can go into the garden once the applied weed killer is fully dried and becomes inactive one its touches soil.
- Spraying certificate not needed with this so you can use it when you want.
- Glyphosate amount is the same as found in professional weed killers so weed killing ability isn’t diluted.
- Annual and deep-rooted perennial weeds both fall to this weed killer.
- A single application will kill most weeds.
- Comes as a concentrate; dilute 30ml of weed killer per litre of water before you use it.
- Works with regular sprayers; try it with a personal knapsack sprayer.
- No residue or odour.
- Comes with gloves and 60ml measuring cup.
- Safe on paving as long as you spray directly on the base of the weeds.
- Doesn’t have an ingredients list.
- Doesn’t come with a spray nozzle.
- Nonselective so will kill whatever vegetation it touches, including your lawn.
The Gallup Home & Garden Glyphosate Weed is a powerful wildlife-friendly weed killer that comes as a concentrate. Please follow the instructions on the bottle for the dilution ratio. It kills both annual and perennial weeds including nettles and dandelions. You apply it with a garden or personal spray. The bottle of weed killer doesn’t come with a spray attachment so you need your own.
Online reviewers are disappointed that the information label doesn’t include a list of ingredients beyond glyphosate, the active ingredient that kills the weeds. There’s also widespread discussion about how long this weed killer takes to work, from a few days to four weeks to longer. This is a common complaint found in the reviews for all the products in this article. The time it takes the product to work depends on many climate and application factors, not just on the weed killer itself.
We’re impressed with the overall reviews of this pet friendly weed killer and make it our Best Pick of the products in this review. Remember all weedkillers are dangerous until they have dried so always take care when mixing and applying.
2. Golden Swan White Vinegar – Home made weedkiller
You may wonder why Golden Swan regular household white vinegar is near the top of our list of weed killers that don’t harm pets. Well, white vinegar is an important ingredient in making homemade and environmentally friendly weed killers that won’t harm pets or children. In addition, white vinegar is also used in DIY household cleaning products, can be used in your laundry and for getting rid of odours, including those from your pets. This is a safe multi-use product.
White Swan vinegar is an established brand and at 5% acetic acid it’s less concentrated than the vinegars you can buy for cleaning (usually between 6-8%). This vinegar comes in 5-litre jugs so it’s economical and much less expensive than any the other products in this review. White vinegar will last for 24 months if not opened and 6 months after you’ve started to use it.
Here’s a popular recipe for making your own pet friendly weed killer.
1. A bottle of 5 litre white vinegar
2. Two handfuls of salt
3. A cup of washing up liquid
It’s easier to use a sprayer that you can pump and spray. Add the salt and the washing up liquid first and then add the white vinegar. Shake well.
Reduce the ingredients proportionally if this is too much weed killer for you.
For more homemade pet safe weed killers, see our article Best homemade weed killers that are easy to make.
- Regular household white vinegar.
- Use for homemade weed killer so you know what’s exactly in it; see text for recipe.
- Shelf life is 24 months when unopened and 6 months when opened.
- Concentration of this vinegar is 5% so it’s not harmful to your skin.
- Comes in 5-litre jugs at an economical price
- Can also use for household cleaning, laundry and getting rid of odours.
- Debris floating in the vinegar and at the bottom of the bottle but not an issue for using as a weedkiller.
If you’d rather not use weed killers that contain glyphosate, then turn to more natural products such as Golden Swan White Vinegar. Less concentrate than white vinegar sold for household cleaning, it won’t hurt your hands if you splash a little on yourself; but rinse it off well. When you make your own weed killer, you know exactly what goes into it and can rest assured that it won’t harm your pets and family.
Online reviewers of the Golden Swan white vinegar complain that the bottle is leaky but this is more down to going through the delivery process if you buy it online. You may need to decant the vinegar into another bottle, or a bucket if you’re going to use it soon. Another complaint was that some people had some debris in the bottom of their bottles of vinegar. Cooking experts (not that you’re going to cook with the vinegar) say that the debris/sediment may not be harmful until after you open the bottle. They suggest straining the vinegar through a coffee filter inside a fine-mesh strainer if it bothers you.
Golden Swan White Vinegar is our Runner-up Pick for weed killer that doesn’t harm pets as it’s environmentally friendly and biodegradable.
3. Roundup Super Concentrate Tough Weed Killer
Roundup is often the first brand that comes to mind when you think of weed killer and Roundup Tough Weed Killer is one of their pet-friendly options. The “Tough” is in the title as the weed killer is super concentrated. The 1-litre bottle covers 3000m2. If you have weeds covering that much area, you really do need a tough weed killer.
Roundup Tough contains glyphosate as its active ingredient, though it does not seem to be mentioned on the bottle label. This kills annual weeds and most perennials including bindweed and docks. The information on the bottle label also says that you can use this to kill tree stumps and standing trees if you apply it between November and March when the sap isn’t rising. You can safely use this product on hard surfaces including driveways and gravel areas.
You need some patience as the weeds won’t show the first effects of the treatment for one to four weeks. Most weeds need a dilution of 10-15ml of concentrate in 1-litre of water. But, as always, read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
Children and pets can play on the treated area once the weed killer has dried.
- Kills the roots of weeds so they shouldn’t return.
- Suitable for treating large areas of weeds so you can do the strip along your fence all at once.
- Super-concentrated so a 1-litre bottle cover 3000m2.
- Kills annual weeds and most perennial weeds so destroys everything you don’t like.
- Kills tree stumps and standing trees so you can remove these bigger items as well.
- Can use on hard surfaces such as driveways, patios and gravel areas.
- Weeds show effects with 1-4 weeks so you have to be a little patient.
- Most weeds use a dilution of 10-15ml of this weed killer in 1-litre of water.
- The ingredient list on website only lists glyphosate.
- Nonselective so will, at the least, harm everything, including your prized flowers.
- May need to use in a more concentrate form than recommended to see results.
Roundup Tough Weed Killer is one of a series of garden products from this well-known brand. It’s a super-concentrated weed killer that you dilute then use in a spray bottle. It kills both annual and perennial weeds as well as woody weeds and trees stumps. It’s pretty much a one-size-fits-all weed killer. It’s safe to use on hard surfaces such as your paths and brickwork around your flower beds.
Roundup Tough is a nonselective weed killer so don’t put it near ornamental plants or vegetables you want to continue growing. The bottle comes without a spray nozzle so you need a sprayer of your own. If you’re not one of the people who just know that Roundup products are famous for being based on glyphosate, then you have to search a bit on their website to find out. There are no other ingredients listed there.
There are the usual online complaints found with all weed killers that this one doesn’t work fast enough or isn’t as strong enough as people need. Some reviewers have used Roundup Tough in a more concentrated form than that recommended by the manufacturer but we always recommend sticking to the manufacture’s guidelines.
If you’re a fan of the Roundup brand, then Roundup Tough Weed Killer is a good choice of a super concentrate weed killer with a long list of vegetation that it’s suitable for.
4. Roundup Fast Action Weed Killer Pump ‘N Go Ready To Use Spray
The name Roundup Fast Action Weed Killer Pump ‘N Go Ready To Use Spray explains most of the features of this weed killer. It’s part of the line of Roundup Prevent and Protect garden products. It’s fast action in that Roundup claims that the weeds show the first effects of the weed killer in one to two days. This is much faster than the claims of one to two weeks, or longer, made by other brands. This product kills annual and deep-rooted perennial weeds with just one application.
The Pump ‘N Go Ready to Use spray deserves some explaining. Ready to Use shows that the solution comes pre-mixed in the 5-litre bottle. You don’t have to measure anything out. The bottle is refillable so that’s a cost saving for you. The Pump ‘N Go part is an included pressure sprayer that comes with a hose and w and that you operate with one hand. The one-touch trigger is easy on your hand with regards to fatigue. Spray refers to the nozzle that comes with the pump. After you’ve primed the pump (by pumping) you can spray for three continuous minutes.
The 5-litre bottle treats 150m2 of weeds including those on hard surfaces..
As always, keep the kids and pets out of the treated area until the weed killer is completely dry.
- Weeds show effects in 1-2 days so you don’t have to wait for results.
- Kills annual and deep-rooted perennial weeds and their roots with just one application for efficient weed control.
- Comes with a Pump N Go pressure spray that’s easy to use.
- Leaves no harmful residue so you can replant in the area where the weeds were.
- Degraded in the soil by micro-organisms.
- Premixed, so you don’t have to worry about how much to dilute it.
- Comes in a 5-litre bottle and treats up to 150m2.
- Can be used on hard surfaces including paths, patios and stone walkways.
- Bottle is refillable, so you can treat your expanse of weeds.
- The ingredient list on website only lists glyphosate.
- Some weeds resist this product, especially those with really deep roots.
- Can stains hard surfaces.
- Spray nozzle and wand are maybe a little too short.
- Can be a little difficult to build up pressure (by pumping) in the Pump ‘N Go.
Roundup Fast Action Weed Killer Pump ‘N Go Ready To Use Spray is the fastest acting weed killer of the selection in our Best Pet Friendly Weed Killer review. The 5-litre bottle of ready-made solution covers up to 150m2 of the weediest parts of the garden. This weed killer comes with a pump pressure sprayer with a one-touch trigger, a hose and a wand.
Reviewers report that it’s a little difficult to build up enough pressure in the pump for a three-minute continuous stream. In addition, the spray nozzle and the wand are short and it’s easy to get the solution on your legs and clothes.
Although Roundup Fast Action weed killer can be used on hard surfaces, reports say that it sometimes leaves a white stain that can’t be removed. And once again, it’s difficult to find out that the active ingredient is glyphosate; you have to look into the website for this information.
If you’re looking for a convenient weed killer to use, this is the one for you. You just need to pick it up from the store, take it home and use it.
5. Weedol Pathclear Weed Killer Liquid Concentrate
Weedol Pathclear Weed Killer Liquid Concentrate differs slightly from our other products in this pet friendly weed killer review as it performs two functions. It kills weeds and it also puts up an invisible barrier that prevents new weeds appearing for up to three months.
Weedol Pathclear is effective against annual weed and perennial weeds, even those whose roots go very deep. It works especially well on hard surfaces such as paths, driveways and areas with gravel, hence its name. These surfaces should be permeable; on impermeable surfaces, such as concrete and tarmac, the liquid might run off onto adjacent vegetation or land.
This weed killer comes in 128ml tubes, which is the exact measure you add to 1-litre of water. If you’re a bit doubtful about measuring out the concentrates of other weed killers, you’ll like this one. Each tube treats up to 20m2.
You can use this weed killer with either a sprayer or a watering can. The mixing instructions are a little strange. For a sprayer, add 1 tube to 1-litre of water; for a watering can, add 1 tube to 5-litres of water. These instructions are clearly printed on the label. Also on the label is a list of the two main ingredients in the product: 20g/L diflufenican and 125g/L glyphosate.
You should only treat your weeds with this once a year.
- Contained in 18ml tubes of liquid concentrate; each tube treats up to 20m2.
- Effective against annual and perennial weeds, even those with very deep roots.
- Prevents new weeds for up to three months to save you repeat work.
- Contains 20g/L diflufenican and 125g/L glyphosate as a suspension concentrate.
- Can use on hard surfaces such as your patio and driveway as long as they’re permeable.
- Use with either a sprayer (the best way) or a watering can, whatever you have.
- Add one tube to 1-litre of water in a sprayer or 5-litres of water in a watering can so you don’t have to measure out the concentrate.
- Effects seen with two weeks so don’t be too impatient.
- Nonselective so avoid any vegetation you want to keep.
- Have to use mixed spray on the same day.
- Only use this weed killer once per year.
Consider Weedol Pathclear Weed Killer Liquid Concentrate if you want to remove weeds from you driveway or paths that are made of permeable materials to let the weed killer soak through. As well as killing weeds, this product provides a barrier that stops new weeds from appearing for up to three months.
Weedol Pathclear comes in handy tubes, each containing enough concentrate to mix with 1-litre ofso water for the correct solution. You can use either a sprayer which we recommend or a watering can to apply this product. Keep in mind that you can only using this weed killer once a year though, but this is a long-lasting weed killer so that shouldn’t matter. The first effects aren’t seen for about two weeks and the weeds won’t be fully killed for a few weeks after this.
Online reviewers have the common complaint that Weedol Pathclear didn’t work fast enough or at all. Some of them used this product at a stronger concentration before the weeds responded. As we’ve mentioned before, there are quite a few extenuating circumstances for these situations to arise.
It’s worth taking a look at Weedol Pathclear Weed Killer Liquid Concentrate if most of the weeds are on your paths or driveways.
6. Resolva Pro Ready To Use Weed Killer
Resolva Pro is a ready to use (as it says) weed killer that comes in a 3-litre bottle and is more economical than some of the products in our other reviews. This amount of weed killer treats up to 111m2; the manufacturer says that this is equivalent to the area of 11 car parking spaces. Resolva Pro controls annual and deep-rooted perennial weeds but be careful that it doesn’t touch the bottom of hedges.
This weed killer is also ready to use because it comes with a spray head that puts out a jet stream of solution. There’s also a trigger and hose to complete the spray attachment. This lets you quickly cover a wide area of weeds. You can use this product only once a year on any given part of your garden. But you won’t have to wait long to see the first effects – they show in 24 hours.
Resolva Pro Ready To Use Weed Killer mentions two ingredients that are used in this weed killer. Glyphosate is a recognisable name now but what about 1,2-bezisothiazol-3(2H)-one sodium salt? We don’t know if this is in any of the other weed killers as they haven’t listed any other ingredients than the first one here. Interestingly, these two ingredients weren’t in a list, but printed in two different places on the label.
Just be sure to keep children and pets away from the sprayed areas until the weed killer has completely dried.
- Comes in a 3L bottle and treats up to 111m2.
- Comes with a spray/jet head with a trigger and hose so you can cover a wide area of weeds at once.
- Controls annual and deep-rooted perennial weeds for all your weeding needs.
- Effects first seen after 24 hours for (almost) immediate gratification.
- Can use on hard surfaces with unwanted vegetation such as patios, driveways and pavement.
- Contains 1,2-bezisothiazol-3(2H)-one sodium salt and 8.38g/L glyphosate as a ready to use aqueous solution..
- Only apply once per year to any area.
- Nonselective so will kill any plants, hedges, grass or trees it touches
- Can only apply once per year.
- May need to apply this weed killer more than once for it to work but if you follow the guidelines your not supposed to.
Resolva Pro Ready To Use Weed Killer is another pick-up-and-use product in which the solution is ready-mixed and a spray/jet head is included. It controls all the usual annual and perennial weeds, though it’s nonselective so it’ll destroy everything else that’s growing and green in your garden as well. The effects of this weed killer are seen within 24 hours so you’ll know if you applied it to all the right places. You can use this on hard surfaces in your garden and your driveway. However, the manufacturer warns not to use it more than once a year in any part of your garden.
Some online reviewers are disturbed at the once-a-year limitation. This was especially so when the weed killer didn’t work or worked on only some of the weeds. However, there may have been application or weather problems that led to this.
As always, keep your kids and pets indoors until the weed killer has dried on the weeds.
The Resolva Pro Ready To Use Weed Killer is another consideration if you’re looking for a no effort, quick to use pet friendly weed killer.
While the products in this review of wildlife friendly weed killers may seem to be very similar, there are some important differences. In this Buyer’s Guide we tell you about the main features to look for; they’re usually mentioned on the label on the back of the bottle.
The first thing to look for is a list of ingredients on the bottle. None of the weed killers in our review had a formal list. Some have the ingredients written on the label but in various places. Only one had both the active ingredient and what was used as the solution. You need to go to the manufacturer’s website to find out what the ingredients are, and even then most websites don’t have the full list.
This is one industry that obviously doesn’t advertise what’s in the bottle.
What you’re mainly looking for is the base or active ingredient. Most of the time it’s glyphosate, and there’s some debate about whether this chemical is safe for humans and pets. At the moment the majority of scientists and scientific reports seem to think that its noncarcinogenic. Please see the discussion in our FAQs for more information.
How the weed killer is packaged
Some weed killers come in a bottle with a pouring spout while others come with a hose and spray nozzle. Still others come in a pre-measured tube which you just add to a litre of water. It’s up to you how much you want to get involved with measuring the concentrate and finding a sprayer or spray bottle big enough.
What the weed killer kills
The first distinction between weed killers is whether they are selective or nonselective. Selective weed killers kill only a particular range of plants or grasses and are mainly used on lawns while nonselective ones kill all the vegetation the liquid touches. All the pet friendly weed killer in this review article are nonselective, so be very careful about where you point the sprayer.
The next distinction is the plants that the weed killer can kill. Most of the weed killers list the same annual and perennial weeds – including grasses, docks, nettles, willowherb, dandelion, bindweed, nettles, etc. – which is to be expected as they’re all nonselective. But some also list tree trunks and growing trees as well. The online reviews show that some brands of pet-friendly weed killers work better on some types of weeds.
Where and where not to use it
If you want to kill the moss on your paving slabs or the weeds growing through the cracks on your driveway, read the label to be sure that you can use the solution on hard surfaces. Most pet friendly weed killers say you can, though one of those we reviewed made it clear that the surface can’t be impermeable. In that case, the solution could run off and touch plants you don’t want it to.
Other than that, you can use the weed killer on whatever plants are growing where you don’t want them. Just don’t get any of it on your lawn.
How to use the weed killer
Ready to use or concentrated?
Some weed killers come ready to use and you just use the attached sprayer or put the solution into your own sprayer. Others come as a concentrate which you measure out and mix with water. Read the instructions carefully to know how much concentrate to use to how much water. The success of the weed killer is often related to how accurate carry out this step.
How to put it on?
Most of the weed killers require you to use a sprayer so make sure that you buy one as well if you don’t have your own. One of the products in the review offers the alternative application method of using a watering can. As always, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for a successful application.
Most weed killers should be applied when the weeds are actively growing and have enough leaf to absorb the spray. Established perennial weeds should be treated at the start of their flowering period. Apply the solution on dry, windless days when no wet weather is forecast for the next few days. Use your weed killer at the right time for the best results.
How often to use it?
This is an important distinction to look for between weed killers as it differs between brands. Some say to wait a certain length of time between applications while others say to apply only once a year. The annual application is because, if you apply it more often, the active chemicals can build up in the soil and harm it.
Based on your past experience with your weeds, decide how often you may want to apply the product.
How quickly does it act?
This a question that will have two different kinds of answers. Read the label on the bottle to see how long the manufacturer claims it will be before you see the signs of the first effects of the weed killer. Sometimes it’s as quickly as a day; other times it’s between two and four weeks. Choose your weed killer depending on your level of patience.
Reading online reviews gives you a different answer. Many reviewers, no matter which brand of pet friendly weed killer they’ve used, complain that they had to wait a long time (many weeks or even months) to see any results or that the weed killer did not work at all.
Keep in mind that when you see the effects and the final results depends on a variety of conditions including the time of year, the weather when you applied the solution and for a few days afterwards, whether you followed instructions exactly and whether your weeds were really tough.
Also bear in mind that when the weed fully dies can be a long time from when you see the first effects. It’s best not to be too impatient for a weed-free garden.
How do you kill weeds without harming pets?
- You read the back of the bottle of weed killer to make sure it says that it’s OK for pets and animals. It’s usually safe when the weed killer has dried on the leaves of the weeds. You can also select one of the weed killers in this review.
- You can make your own weed killer by using food and household ingredients. Simple ingredients such as white vinegar, salt and a little dishwashing liquid together can kill weeds. (See our recipe under the review for Golden Swan vinegar.) Other natural weed killers are to use boiling water or lemon juice. Search for “natural weed killers” on Google.
Is Roundup pet friendly? Is glyphosate dangerous to dogs?
People can’t agree on the answer to this. The main ingredient is Roundup is glyphosate which is the most widely used herbicide in the world. It’s used by farmers and by professional and amateur gardeners. Some countries, such as Luxembourg and Thailand, have already banned its use and others are going to do so in coming years. That said, a great many countries still use it.
The World Health Organization has said that it is “probably carcinogenic to humans”. However, the Environmental Protection Agency in the US has stated that glyphosate is safe when used according to the directions on the label. And regulators in Canada, Australia, Germany and new Zealand classify it as noncarcinogenic.
The Roundup weed killer labels state that the weed killer is safe for pets (and children) once its dried. If you’re at all concerned about this, consider making your own weed killer from natural products.
How long after spraying weed killer is it safe for pets?
If you’re using a pet and child-friendly weed killer than most manufacturers recommend that you wait until the weed killer is dry on the leaves of the weeds before you let your pets and kids loose in the garden. But make sure of this by reading the specific instructions on the back of your bottle of weed killer.
If you’re planning on using a weed killer that’s NOT friendly for pets and children, please read this article again. Choose another weed killer.
Our Final Conclusion
Killing your weeds is obviously not an exact science. A great deal depends on how you mix the weed killer and the water, how you apply it, what the weather is on the day, what the weather is on the following day and how tough your weeds are. And all this is before you look at the quality of the weed killer itself.
This review of weed killers that don’t harm pets has presented different options, including making your own solution. They do sound somewhat similar but the differences are in how you mix them, what containers they’re in and whether they come with a spray nozzle. Most of the weed killers here give different times for seeing your first result, though online reviews have shown that that’s often a hit or miss predication.
Our Best Pick of these weed killers is the Gallup Home & Garden Glyphosate Weed Killer. A single application of this almost professional weed killer kills most weeds.
In the Runner-up spot is Golden Swan White Vinegar, White vinegar features in a number of recipes for homemade weed killer that’s pet friendly, environmentally friendly and biodegradable.
Whichever pet and child-friendly weed killer you choose, please read the manufacturer’s instructions and follow all the safety precautions suggested.
Last update on 2022-01-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API