Are Your Pretty Lawns Giving Your Dog Cancer?

Many Americans take pride in having a beautiful, green lawn, but that lush grass could be coming at a very high price. A 2012 study revealed that homeowners who utilized a chemical lawn service to achieve that look are likely causing malignant cancer in their pets.

The researchers found that dogs with malignant lymphoma were 70 percent more likely to live in a home where professionally applied lawn pesticides had been used. They were 170 percent more likely to come from homes where owners had used chemical insecticides to battle pests inside the home as well.

The results also determined that using flea and tick control products didn’t increase the risk of canine lymphoma. Keep in mind that if dogs are getting cancer, there is likely a greater risk for human residents to develop it with exposure to lawn chemicals; other studies have linked childhood leukemia and melanoma to these toxins.

The difference is that humans know to avoid the lawn if it’s recently been treated with chemicals, and can hopefully keep children off it as well, but our dogs are uncovered and unprotected; rolling around on the grass and even eating it too.

But how long does the residue remain? If you have kids, they probably want to play on that nice lawn. And who doesn’t want to walk barefoot on soft grass on a warm summer day? A pretty lawn may just be an ego booster for some homeowners, but why pay out all that money if it’s harmful to be near and potentially killing the pets you love?

The best thing to do is avoid using pesticides on your lawn, or letting lawn service companies use them anywhere on your property. Prevent your dog from walking, rolling, or eating on any lawn that you aren’t 100 percent certain is maintained without pesticides.

These days, there are many “green” lawn companies out there if you don’t have the time to maintain it yourself. Or, you can follow these tips to help keep it beautiful without harmful chemicals.

Use a natural, organic herbicide for killing weeds. There are a variety of products available at garden stores, such as vinegar-based sprays. Get some healthy exercise and get rid of weeds by using a hoe to break up the dirt around plants which not only stimulates the growth of the plants but it can remove weeds that are taking up water and other nutrients.

Use a natural fertilizer like compost. Compost is outstanding lawn nourishment. Just place 1/8” to 1/4” of high quality compost, which can be found at garden centers (or you can use your own), over your lawn using a shovel. It helps to nourish the soil without containing harsh salts like chemical fertilizers, and many see improvement in only a few days.

dogUse plants that attract wildlife that will help eliminate bugs. For example, you could plant something that draws birds and ladybugs. In addition, ladybugs can often be purchased at garden stores or even through the mail. Releasing them in your garden will help get rid of the pests that can cause damage to your lawn.

You can have a lush, enviable lawn without risking the health of your pets – or your family – with so many natural organic options!

-The Alternative Daily

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