The Best Pet-Safe Weed Killer

Written by Angie Menjivar
Updated: January 30, 2023
© aRandomEye/Shutterstock.com

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Key Points:

  • The #1 Overall Best Pet-Safe Weed Killer is Green Gobbler 20% Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer.
  • If you want to eliminate the weeds in your yard without harming your beloved pets, you’ll need to use a pet-safe weed killer.
  • Pet-safe weed killers are made with natural and organic ingredients. They break down quickly, do not leave residues in the environment, and do not cause any lasting damage to pets or people.
  • Pet-safe weed killers are easy to use and can provide a safe, effective way of controlling weeds around the home. For a weed killer to be considered “pet-safe”, it must use non-toxic ingredients and avoid toxic ones.

You might be looking out at your garden and seeing some weeds coming through, wondering what type of product might be pet-safe. Well, with a pet-safe weed killer, you can tackle those pesky weeds effectively without harming your pets! Most traditional weed killers are packed with toxic chemicals that could land your dog or cat at the vet — or worse. No matter how important your garden or landscaping is, they’re certainly never more important than the life of your beloved animals.

When most people read the words “non-toxic” on weed killers, they tend to scoff at the idea. However, it’s absolutely possible to find a pet-safe weed killer that actually works. In the list below, we highlight some of the top pet-safe weed killers.

We provide you with the information you need to select pet-safe weed killers, including what ingredients to look for and which to avoid. Plus, we break it down with an easy pros and cons list and share some verified user experiences on some of the different products we highlight. Finally, we end the article by answering your frequently asked questions, so you know what kind of weed killer is safe for dogs and when it’s safe to use weed killers around your pets.

  1. Green Gobbler 20% Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer
    • Powerful weed killer on a budget
    • No toxic chemicals
    • Made from ethanol distilled from corn
    • Biodegradable
    Check Amazon
  2. ECO Garden PRO - Organic Vinegar Weed Killer
    • Kid-safe, pet-safe, and spray-ready
    • Works completely within 24 hours
    • Phosphate-free and 100% biodegradable
    • Contains natural white vinegar
    Check Amazon
  3. BioSafe Systems 7601-1 Weed and Grass Killer
    • Suitable for organic gardening
    • EPA registered
    • Non-selective herbicide
    • Kills weeds fast
    Check Amazon

Top Picks: The Best Pet-Safe Weed Killers Today

#1 Best Overall: Green Gobbler 20% Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer

When you need powerful weed-killing power on a budget, check out this Green Gobbler 20% Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer glyphosate-free herbicide. This product kills weeds and grass very quickly within just a matter of hours. You can expect full desiccation in less than 24 hours total. Green Gobbler contains 20% acetic acid, and you can use it on crabgrass, clover weeds, moss, dandelions, and white clover. This is safe to use anywhere, whether you live in a residential area, or you need it for commercial areas, industrial, or agricultural use. Just apply it wherever you wish to get rid of weeds and grass. Use it on concrete, farmlands, flowerbeds, and even parking lots.

The Green Gobbler Weed and Grass Killer is certified for organic use. It doesn’t use any toxic chemicals to help accomplish your goals. In fact, it’s made straight from corn! This formula is powerful but it’s not dangerous. It doesn’t contain any potentially cancer-causing chemicals. It’s four times stronger than traditional table vinegar and is made strictly from ethanol distilled from corn grain. Green Gobbler backs all its products with a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you try this out and it doesn’t perform to your liking, just give them a call and they’ll reimburse your entire purchase.

This natural weed killer is biodegradable and neutralizes after rainfall. However, it does kill anything in its path so be mindful when using it. If there’s any wind, the spray may make it out to plants that you wish to preserve. Be sure it’s closed tightly wherever you store it, so it doesn’t leak out as well. And remember, a little goes a long way. Plus, it’s inexpensive and you can’t beat a product that works well at a price you can afford.

Pros and Cons of the Green Gobbler 20% Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer

ProsCons
This weed killer is a glyphosate-free herbicide.It kills anything and everything, so you need to be careful which plants you spray it on.
It kills grass and weeds in less than 24 hours.
Green Gobbler is safe to use anywhere, whether commercial or residential.
Since it is made from ethanol distilled from corn grain, it is organic and does not contain any toxic chemicals.
It is four times stronger than traditional table vinegar.
This weed killer is biodegradable and neutralizes after rainfall.
It is inexpensive, and a little goes a long way.
Best Budget-Friendly
Green Gobbler 20% Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer
  • Powerful weed killer on a budget
  • No toxic chemicals
  • Made from ethanol distilled from corn
  • Biodegradable
Check Amazon

2. Best Organic: ECO Garden PRO – Organic Vinegar Weed Killer

The ECOGgarden PRO Organic Vinegar Weed Killer is touted as the organic vinegar weed killer. It’s kid-safe, pet-safe, and spray-ready. This formula is designed for people like you who are attentive and work hard to keep their little ones (furry and all) safe. It’s even safe for bees, fish, and any livestock! It’s a proprietary formula that is designed to kill weeds and grass fast. Use it anywhere you need, including sidewalks, mulch beds, or flowerbeds. It works completely within 24 hours, and it contains natural white vinegar, organic rock salt, biodegradable plant activators, and fermentation-derived cofactors. All these ingredients work synergistically to eliminate weeds and grass effectively.

Some of the weeds and grass you can expect to eliminate include chickweed, thistle, moss, dollar weed, clover, and dandelions. It contains zero toxic chemicals, it’s eco-friendly, phosphate-free, 100% biodegradable, and completely safe for groundwater. It’s ready to use upon delivery, which means you can get to work killing weeds and grass and even kill the roots as soon as it arrives. It comes in a one-gallon jug that clearly lists the active ingredients on the front. It works because it combines the fast action of acetic acid with the efficacy of sodium chloride, which makes it a dual-performance herbicide that gets to work quickly.

Customers report that some weeds turn around within 24 hours, and some may take a little longer. However, they all wilt and die fairly quickly. Some customers did notice a lingering smell of vinegar but since it was outside and, in the sun, the smell eventually dissipated entirely.

Pros and Cons of the ECO Garden PRO – Organic Vinegar Weed Killer

ProsCons
This weed killer is safe for kids, pets, bees, fish, and even livestock.Weeds do not disappear quite as quickly as with other weed killers.
You can use it anywhere.It has a strong vinegar smell.
The product works within around 24 hours.
It contains natural white vinegar, organic rock salt, biodegradable plant activators, and fermentation-derived cofactors.
There are no toxic chemicals, and it is phosphate-free, eco-friendly, 100% biodegradable, and safe for groundwater.
It’s ready to use as soon as it is delivered.
It is a dual-performance herbicide that combines the fast action of acetic acid with the efficacy of sodium chloride.
Best Organic
ECO Garden PRO - Organic Vinegar Weed Killer
  • Kid-safe, pet-safe, and spray-ready
  • Works completely within 24 hours
  • Phosphate-free and 100% biodegradable
  • Contains natural white vinegar
Check Amazon

3. Best for Stubborn Weeds: BioSafe Systems 7601-1 Weed and Grass Killer

This fast-acting BioSafe Systems 7601-1 Weed and Grass Killer is ideal for those super stubborn weeds. You can use this for organic gardening because it leaves no harmful residue and won’t leech through the soil to harm the plants you want to keep. You can gain control of your garden with visible results in just a day. This is a non-selective herbicide, which is ideal for edging and spot control around ornamental trees, flowers, and bushes. It’s EPA registered and perfect whether you’re a seasoned gardener or someone who has just started their journey. You’ll find that it kills unwanted broadleaf and grassy weeds like bittercress, cudweed, lambsquarters, liverwort, horseweed rosettes, mustards, and even pigweed.

This stuff is super non-toxic and kills weeds fast. However, some customers reported that when they regrow, they had to reapply so it’s not a one-and-done solution. Rather, it’s something that you can use to keep your garden in tip-top shape. Because it’s super effective, be sure you’re only spraying on the grass and weeds you wish to get rid of. If the product happens to travel to plants you want to keep, it’s likely to kill those as well. So, a helpful hint is to avoid spraying on windy days, and focus the spray solely on the weeds and grass you intend to get rid of.

Pros and Cons of the BioSafe Systems 7601-1 Weed and Grass Killer

ProsCons
This weed killer does not leave any harmful residue.You may need to use it multiple times to keep the weeds out of your garden.
It doesn’t leech through the soil.If you get this weed killer on plants that you wish to keep, they will also die, unfortunately.
This product can start showing results in less than a day.
It is EPA registered and easy to use.
It kills weeds fast and is non-toxic.
Best for Stubborn Weeds
BioSafe Systems 7601-1 Weed and Grass Killer
  • Suitable for organic gardening
  • EPA registered
  • Non-selective herbicide
  • Kills weeds fast
Check Amazon

Choosing the Best: What to Look For in Pet-Safe Weed Killers

Aside from relying on labels that read “pet-safe,” there are other pieces of information you should know before choosing the best for your needs. There are ingredients to look for and ingredients to avoid, which we cover in the next section.

Ingredients to Look For

A good pet-safe weed killer incorporates vinegar (often listed as acetic acid). However, this isn’t the regular vinegar you keep on hand at home. The vinegar included in these pet-safe formulas is highly concentrated. The ideal concentration for vinegar in weed-killing formulas ranges from 10% to 30%. Alongside vinegar or acetic acid, you should also look for salt (often listed as sodium chloride). Salt is non-toxic but it is powerful when it comes to killing weeds. When these two ingredients are combined into a weed killer, what you get is a potent, effective product that doesn’t harm your pets.

Non-Selective vs. Selective

Some weed killers are selective with what they kill. The non-selective is just as it sounds — it’ll kill anything in its path. If you have a non-selective weed killer, you have to be super careful where the spray lands. Just be sure you know what you’re working with and use it with care.

Ingredients to Avoid

Glyphosate

Many pet-safe weed killers have the words “glyphosate-free” printed in bold. This is because this chemical, especially when wet, is extremely toxic to pets. If ingested, your pet may begin vomiting, develop diarrhea, lose their appetite, and display sleepiness. This is a chemical often seen in regular weed killers because it’s effective but using it around pets could prove detrimental and even fatal.

Paraquat

This chemical is even more toxic to pets than glyphosate. It’s exceptionally strong and is known to cause lung scarring in pets, which leads to respiratory issues. If you have pets, avoid this chemical no matter what.

Sethoxydim

Although this ingredient is often advertised as a less toxic alternative, in high doses it’s capable of causing tremors in humans and can also cause dogs to develop anemia. If used, it should only be sparingly.

2,4-D (Timec)

This is a well-known herbicide that’s often used with lawn care. Pets that have accidentally ingested this chemical have quickly developed symptoms that include vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, and lethargy. Once sprayed, this chemical can linger for several days. Avoid this ingredient if you have pets.  

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About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a writer at A-Z-Animals primarily covering pets, wildlife, and the human spirit. She has 14 years of experience, holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and continues her studies into human behavior, working as a copywriter in the mental health space. She resides in North Carolina, where she's fallen in love with thunderstorms and uses them as an excuse to get extra cuddles from her three cats.

The Best Pet-Safe Weed Killer FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What is the best weed killer when you have pets?

A non-toxic alternative to some of the more popular chemical-laden products is best for homes with pets. The two primary ingredients in non-toxic weed killers include acetic acid (vinegar) and sodium chloride (salt). These ingredients, along with other helpful additions, work powerfully to eliminate weeds but keep your pets, kids, and environment safe.

What kind of weed killer is safe for dogs?

Each of the weed killers in this list is safe for use if you have dogs. These weed killers leave out chemicals that are toxic to dogs, like glyphosate and paraquat. Instead, they incorporate non-toxic ingredients like vinegar, salt, and biodegradable plant activators. These formulas can be used to kill weeds quickly and won’t harm your dog.

Is it safe to use weed killer around pets?

Only if they’re pet-safe! The formulas are completely different than standard weed killers (like RoundUp). They’re just as effective, except they’re non-toxic and keep pets, kids, and your environment safe. Always double-check the ingredients when purchasing weed killers to ensure they’re safe for use around pets!

Is Green Gobbler Weed Killer safe for pets?

Yes! It’s why we included it in this list. It’s glyphosate-free and doesn’t contain any cancer-causing chemicals. It’s a super-powerful 20% formula that is four times stronger than your regular table vinegar. You can use it anywhere you need it, and it kills weeds fast, with full desiccation in less than 24 hours.

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