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6 Best Pet Safe Weed Killers – Manage Your Lawn (Safely)

Maintaining a beautiful weed-free yard is imperative for most homeowners, but what if you also have dogs in your home? Keeping your yard weed-free is nice, but many mass-market weed killers are packed with toxic chemicals. 

Most of the toxic products that contain sodium, arsenite, borax, and arsenic are gone, but certain weed killers like Roundup may have inert ingredients that could be problematic to dogs and result in burns, rashes, sores, diarrhea, vomiting, or death.

The bottom line is that chemical-laden weed killers could provoke an allergic reaction or mean death for your dog, but there are organic, pet-friendly weed killer options. Keep in mind that many of these formulas are non-selective, so they will also kill your lawn.

Finding a weed killer that works but is safe for your pets can be a tricky process, so we decided to research and test the best pet-safe weed killers. We chose 14 varieties and tested them at home. From there, we narrowed down 6 top picks and 7 honorable mentions.  

Our Top Picks

  Product Details    
01-Green-Gobbler-Vinegar-Weed-Killer- Best Overall: Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed Killer You can’t go wrong with Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed Killer. It’s safe for pets since the main ingredient is vinegar, and it’s a perfect all-purpose weed killer for eco-conscious pet owners in residential, commercial, or agricultural areas. Check Price
02-Doctor-Kirchner-Natural-Weed-Killer Best For Spot-Killing Weeds: Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed Killer A solid brand that is formulated with ocean water and vinegar, kills weeds efficiently, and is safe for your pets. This is a non-selective weed killer that should not be used on lawns. Check Price
03-Natural-Armor-Weed-and-Grass-Killer Best Quick-Acting Formula: Natural Armor Weed And Grass Killer A glyphosate-free formula that can kill the weeds all around your yard while also being safe for your dogs. This formula will quickly eliminate all vegetation where it is applied. Check Price
04-ECO-Garden-Pro-Organic-Vinegar-Weed-Killer Best Poison Ivy Killer: ECO Garden Pro Organic Vinegar Weed Killer A made in the USA option that is completely biodegradable and will kill weeds and grass within 24 hours. The proprietary ingredients are effective on stubborn weeds including poison ivy, dandelions, and chickweed. Check Price
05-Energen-Carolina-Vinegar-Weed-Killer Best Aggressive Weed Killer: Energen Carolina Vinegar Weed Killer Although this product is not safe for birds, it is a heavily vinegar-based solution that is completely safe for your pups while aggressively killing unwanted grass and weeds quickly. Check Price
06-Natural-Armor-Weed-And-Grass-Killer Best For Small Areas: Natural Armor Weed And Grass Killer A gallon of herbicide is not always your best bet. This weed killer comes in a small spray bottle and the formula is safe for pets and effective against grass and weeds. Check Price

How We Tested the Best Pet Safe Weed Killers

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Many weed killers contain chemicals that could be toxic to your dog.

Non-selective weed killers are typically used in areas where vegetation should be cleared. The salt and vinegar in these formulas make them safe, but it will kill your lawn if you broadcast spray it. 

We looked into all of the pet-safe formulas available to learn what our options are when it comes to killing weeds without harming our dogs.

The first thing we looked at was the ingredients. Although not all weed killers come with a complete set of ingredients, we did find that vinegar was usually listed as the acetic acid and a concentration between 10% and 30% gave the best results.

Salt, a saline solution, or even “natural” ocean water is another primary ingredient. Salt will keep vegetation from growing in the area for a long time, making it a great ground-clearing ingredient.

We also made sure the weed killers did not contain glyphosate. According to the Oklahoma Veterinary Specialists, this herbicide has been linked to cancer in dogs (and humans). 

Iron is a second no-no that can cause cardiac, metabolic, and gastrointestinal issues.

We then examined what the product kills. The most effective pet-safe weed killers we found are non-selective. They kill everything they are sprayed on, but they do it quickly, effectively, and once the formula is dry it is safe for pets and children to reenter the area. 

We researched the frequency of application and, of course, the safety of the product on your beloved pets. Through this research, we came up with the top 6 pet-safe weed killers and 5 runners-up. Read on to see the products we picked and why.

Need more help keeping your yard clean? Check out the Best Dog Pooper Scoopers for Dogs. Keep your yard clean with our top pooper scooper picks!

Best Pet Safe Weed Killers

1. Best Overall: Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed Killer 

Product Ratings

What it kills5/5
Frequency of application5/5

Size: 1 gallon | Primary ingredient: 20% acetic acid | Brand: Green Gobbler | Formula: Glyphosate-free

What We Liked

  • Certified organic
  • Fit for residential use
  • No-quibbles money-back guarantee

What We Didn’t Like

  • Doesn’t completely kill weeds and we had to reapply
  • Lack of transparency of ingredients 
  • Cannot be applied on a lawn

If you have dogs at home, you can’t go wrong with Green Gobbler and its certified organic formula. The primary ingredient is vinegar, but the 20% concentration makes it much stronger than the vinegar you use for cooking which is a 5% concentration.

The highly acidic formula can be sprayed directly from the bottle onto your weeds. It gets to work right away and kills both weeds and grass quickly. 

It is safe for residential, commercial, and agricultural use. It is also the perfect all-purpose weed killer for eco-conscious pet owners needing to blitz weeds out in the yard.

The main thing we disliked about this product is its lack of transparency with other ingredients. Although Green Gobbler does state that the formula is glyphosate-free and biodegradable, nothing else is revealed about its ingredients.

Our testing found that weeds will grow back and we had to reapply to keep the weeds away, so keep your expectations reasonable.

Green Gobbler is a perfect compromise to keeping your dog safe and having a product that delivers overall effectiveness against weeds.


2. Best for Spot-killing Weeds: Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed Killer

Product Ratings

What it kills5/5
Frequency of application5/5

Size: 128 oz | Primary ingredient: Ocean saltwater | Brand: Doctor Kirchner | Formula: Glyphosate-free

What We Liked

  • Transparent with its ingredients
  • Many sizes to choose from
  • No-glug spout so it’s less messy
  • Commercial-strength vinegar

What We Didn’t Like

  • Can not be applied on a lawn

Doctor Kirchner’s natural weed killer is quite impressive in that they disclose all four ingredients – salt, water, vinegar, and soap. The salt does the bulk of the weed-killing, but the vinegar and soap also play a role.

We also found that this dog-safe weed killer is available in various sizes. The bottle we tested was 128 ounces, but you should think closely about how much coverage you need so you can buy accordingly.

The spout is designed to apply this weed killer, which is important because this is a non-selective solution. This means you should keep it away from your lawn and only use it on your weeds so that it doesn’t scorch your grass.

As long as you’re okay with keeping this solution away from your lawn, you can kiss your weeds goodbye with this quality and budget-friendly product without endangering your dogs. 


3. Best Quick-acting Formula: Natural Armor Weed and Grass Killer

Product Ratings

What it kills4/5
Frequency of application5/5

Size: 128 oz | Primary ingredient: Natural formula | Brand: Natural Armor | Formula: Glyphosate-free

What We Liked

  • Works anywhere you want the weeds to be gone
  • Very quick-acting
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

What We Didn’t Like

  • New weeds tend to grow through
  • Cannot be applied to lawns
  • We are unsure what all the ingredients are

Natural Armor serves as an ideal solution for killing weeds without harming your pups.

The formula is similar to many other natural weed killers we tested. You get vinegar, which is the acetic acid, along with citrus, sodium, glycerin, essential oil, and water. Although we wanted more detail on the composition, it’s great to have this information.

If we had more detail on the composition of the citrus and sodium ingredients and the exact type of essential oil used, we would have bumped up the rating because we could be positive it is entirely pet-safe.

With no glyphosate and all-natural ingredients, we feel you can take the manufacturer at their word about pet safety. We couldn’t find any complaints in the product reviews about any mishaps with pets.

We found that this kills most weeds and grasses quickly, but some more stubborn ones will need a second or third application. This is par for the course with natural weed killers.


4. Best Poison Ivy Killer: ECO Garden Pro Organic Vinegar Weed Killer

Product Ratings

What it kills5/5
Frequency of application4/5

Size: 1 gallon | Primary ingredient: 8% acetic acid | Brand: ECO Garden | Formula: Glyphosate-free

What We Liked

  • Kills weeds and grass quickly
  • Works well on poison ivy
  • 100% biodegradable

What We Didn’t Like

  • Need more than one application on stubborn weeds
  • Cannot be applied to lawns
  • Lack of ingredients transparency

We were excited to test this made in the USA weed killer option that is glyphosate-free and perfectly safe for application around dogs. Once this formula is dry, pets and children can reenter the area.

The active ingredients in ECO Garden are 8% vinegar and 5% salt, two agents that we found come together nicely to torch most common weeds. The remaining 87% is inert ingredients and water to complete the solution.

This lack of transparency is what we found to be a bit of an issue, and we remain skeptical when ingredients are unlisted. That being said, we found that the organic solution worked well for a range of applications.

We tested this product on driveways, patios, pavements, and carefully spot-sprayed in flower and mulch beds, keeping the solution off of our plants. ECO garden eliminated weeds wherever they were found to crop up.

Our research also found that several other users have complimented the ability of ECO Garden’s vinegar spray to combat rogue poison ivy without triggering any adverse effects to their dogs.

So, this completely biodegradable product has had no complaints from pet owners about toxicity or complications, making it a dog-safe weed killer for any homeowner.


5. Best Aggressive Weed Killer: Energen Carolina Vinegar Weed Killer

Product Ratings

What it kills4/5
Frequency of application5/5

Size: 128 oz | Primary ingredient: 20% acetic acid | Brand: Energen Carolina | Formula: Glyphosate-free

What We Liked

  • Ideal for a variety of weeds
  • Organic acid degrades quickly
  • Spray bottle size is available for small areas

What We Didn’t Like

  • Non-selective herbicide that should be kept away from the lawn
  • Could be dangerous for birds

This heavily vinegar-based solution works aggressively to kill weeds without any damaging effects on your puppies.

We found that Energen Carolina worked well to counter a range of weeds. We saw that the organic acetic acid gets to work quickly and degrades just as rapidly.

That being said, this product is a non-selective herbicide, so you should keep the solution away from your lawn.

We tested different versions of Energen Carolina and found that the spray version of this solution was less messy than glooping weed killer out of the bottle. The nifty dispenser takes the mess out of application.

Despite being proven safe for dogs, we did find some comments from customers that raise concerns about the safety of this product for birds. If this is an issue for you, we suggest doing your due diligence or using one of our other recommended products.


6. Best for Small Areas: Natural Armor Weed And Grass Killer

Product Ratings

What it kills4/5
Frequency of application5/5

Size: 32 oz | Primary ingredient: Natural formula | Brand: Natural Armor | Formula: Glyphosate-free

What We Liked

  • Suitable for variety of applications
  • Gets to work quickly
  • Small bottle is convenient for treating small areas
  • No-questions money-back guarantee

What We Didn’t Like

  • Cannot be used on lawns

If you have a small area of weeds that need attention, we found that the 32-ounce bottle of Natural Armor weed killer is perfect for anyone with small coverage requirements or a tight budget.

We tested this product on hundreds of common weeds and found you can liberally apply this solution across various settings. You can keep your driveway, patio, and pathway weed-free with this conveniently-sized bottle.

We found that this formula works rapidly and is relatively effective for a natural solution containing salt and citric acid. As with all organic weed killers, it will only kill the visible part of the weeds, so they will inevitably grow back.

This product is perfect for those who don’t want to spend a fortune on weed killer but also want to ensure it doesn’t cause any harm to your beloved dogs.


Comparison Chart

ProductIngredientsWhat it KillsFrequency of Application
Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed Killer5/55/55/5
Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed Killer5/55/55/5
Natural Armor Weed and Grass Killer5/54/55/5
Eco Garden Pro Organic Weed Killer5/55/54/5
Emergen Carolina Vinegar Weed Killer5/54/55/5
Natural Armor Small Bottle Weed Killer5/54/55/5

The Winner

Our favorite is the Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed Killer. It’s safe for pets because it’s mainly formulated with vinegar, and can be used by eco-conscious pet owners in residential, commercial, or agricultural areas. 

We appreciate the ingredient transparency and feel comfortable allowing our dogs back in the area once the spray has dried.

While it can’t be sprayed on lawns because it will kill the grass, it is a safe and effective formula for spot-treating, spraying weed patches, and keeping driveways and sidewalks weed-free.

Some Frequently Asked Questions Answered 

Q: Is Glyphosate Harmful to Dogs?

A: Glyphosate is the world’s most widely used herbicide because it is incredibly effective, but it has been shown to have a link to cancer. For this reason, we assume that it is also harmful to dogs, especially if they come into frequent contact with it. 

According to the World Health Organization, glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” The EPA has declared it safe to use, as long as it’s utilized strictly according to the directions on the label. 

Q: How Can I Get Rid of Dandelions Without Harming My Dog?

A: It’s tough to get rid of dandelions in a completely pet-safe manner. They often grow bang in the middle of your lawn. Ordinarily, you would use a selective herbicide capable of decimating the dandelions without damaging your grass. 

Unfortunately, these products are not pet-friendly. You have two options: either hand-pull the dandelions or use a pre-emergent herbicide like cornmeal gluten. This will kill dandelions effectively. 

Q: How Can I Kill Weeds if I Have a Dog at Home?

A: Your best option is to use either a vinegar-based or a salt-based solution. If you’re using vinegar, remember to get a solution that’s between 10% and 30% in strength. Contrast this with the 5% vinegar in your kitchen cupboard.

The best way to apply a salt-based solution is to mix it with some water then spray liberally all over your weeds, avoiding grass and plants that you don’t want to kill. 

Q: What are Allelopathic Plants and Can They Help to Kill Weeds?

A: Some plants produce chemicals that kill other plants, including weeds. These are called allelopathic plants

This is certainly not a straightforward solution to the weeds blighting your garden, but if you have green fingers and plenty of patience, you could grow your own entirely natural defenses in place against weeds.

Read More: The Best Flea Killers for Yards. Protect your pups from fleas in their backyard! Check out our guide to discover our top picks.

Honorable Mentions

1. Espoma Weed Preventer Plus  

Espoma is one of the only weed-killers we found that is safe to use on the lawn. It gets to work and stops weeds from growing in the first place. It will not kill weeds that are already growing, so it has to be applied before seeds germinate.  

Our research also found that the only ingredient in Espoma is cornmeal gluten which is great for inhibiting common weeds like crabgrass and dandelion. 

It can’t be applied to weeds that are already growing, so we chose to recommend Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed Killer instead, even though it can not be used on lawns.

2. Just for Pets Weed Killer Spray

We were very impressed with this substantial 128-ounce bottle of weed killer from Just For Pets. We liked that the bottle comes with a spray attachment, which made the application a breeze.

An added bonus is that this company channels some of its profits into animal shelters so you can do your part for dogs not as fortunate as yours.

The ingredients are not clear for this product, so we recommend Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed Killer because we know what the ingredients are.

3. Preen Weed Preventer

It is important to note that this product from Preen is not strictly speaking a weed killer. Instead, it is considered a pre-emergent herbicide, which means it will stop weed seeds from growing in the first place.

When we tested this product, we found we needed to use it several times, as required, to stop weeds in their tracks. Because it is a weed preventer and not a weed killer, we chose to recommend Natural Armor Weed and Grass Killer.

4. OrganicMatters Natural Weed Killer

OrganicMatters is a first-class weed killer that’s a wonderful addition to any pet owner’s tool shed due to a formula that is free of glyphosate and made of all-natural ingredients.

It is formulated to kill hundreds of the most common types of weed blighting your yard. 

Our complaint was that we weren’t sure what was in the formula, so Doctor Kirchner Natural Weed Killer beat this one out for a place in our top picks.

5. Natural Elements Weed Killer

Natural Elements is made from a commercial-strength vinegar that is much more concentrated than the stuff you use for cooking. And, the 5% sodium chloride is a nice addition for killing the majority of common weeds and grasses.

We tested this product on all sorts of weeds and it performed well. Of course, it is non-selective, so never apply it on a lawn or any plants that you want to keep alive. 

For overall effectiveness, we found that the Energen Carolina Vinegar Weed Killer performed better and took one of the top spots.

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Jesse Hopping, CCDT

Jesse is a natural-born dog-lover certified dog trainer (CCDT), dog foster, and former volunteer at Richmond SPCA and surrounding dog shelters for over 10 years. Her pack includes a Bernedoodle and 3 Boston Terriers. She’s sipping caramel coffee and watching her pack play in the sun when she’s not writing blogs. Jesse has her Certified Dog Trainer designation from CATCH Canine Trainers Academy since 2018 and and majored in English from the University of Virginia.

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