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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Play It Safe: Make Sure Your Pets Avoid Lawn Chemicals

Nope, no chemicals on this grass because it's within the confines of a dog park, but the areas outside the enclosures are treated, according to the signs posted in one of our metro parks.

Please forgive Parental Unit for ranting, but she gets so upset when she sees people with those "packs" on their backs, spraying their lawns and sidewalks down with what we describe as cancer-causing chemicals. They don't even bother to wear gloves or attempt to contain the spray. She admits to getting downright angry, and dragging me across the street in a snit.

We live in an urban environment—a charming little enclave built in the mid-eighteen hundreds, and just loaded with brick streets. And you know what sprouts between those bricks, don't you? Yes, ugly weeds. And like good trained citizens, many of our neighbors want to eradicate those dang weeds, because they want their neighborhood to look nice and neat. But at what cost?

Just yesterday, we turned from the sidewalk to enter a a mini park in our neighborhood, and there was a women spraying the bricks like crazy. It's a lovely place, with a public water fountain, a nice doggie water bowl and poop clean-up bags and receptacle. The sprayer of toxins didn't even bother to remove the dog water bowl—there it sat waiting for the next unsuspecting pooch to lap its poisonous contents.

We do realize that not every human or pet who comes in contact (regularly or only occasionally) with these types of chemicals will get cancer, but researchers and statistics demonstrate that at least some cancers in both humans and pets are caused by exposure to environmental toxins. And there are valid reason why countless animal welfare and veterinary organizations warn you to keep your pet away from these chemicals.  And there's also a reason why federal, state and local governments regulate these same chemicals and require lawn care companies to post those little signs warning you to keep children and pets off the treated areas.

No chemicals in our own backyard either, but you can see that there's not much real grass there.

There are organic alternatives to keeping your lawn growing and green and keeping the weeds at bay, and since Parental Unit has chosen to use the organic approach for decades, she can assure you that it does work, but admittedly may take a little longer to get the desired results.

We'd love to hear what you have to say about applying chemicals to your lawns and patios and about your neighbors' and communities' choice to use them. Do you think the use of chemicals might increase the risk of either you or your pets getting cancer? What say you?


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