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Dangers of Roundup Weed Killer for Pets

dog image by Ramona smiers from

Roundup, manufactured by Scotts, has become almost a generic term for a herbicide that kills unwanted plants. Roundup contains glyphosate, a non-selective poison that kills any plant it comes in contact with. Most gardeners use it for killing weeds or invasive plants in paths and paved areas, because unwanted plants are usually a good distance from desirable plants. Scotts says Roundup is safe to use around pets, but some precautions should be taken.


According to Scotts: "Laboratory and field testing indicates that pets and wildlife will not be harmed by feeding on or coming into contact with plants which have been treated with Roundup, used according to label directions." The company says that properly used, Roundup products "do not pose an unreasonable risk to humans or the environment."


Pets should not be allowed to enter a sprayed area until the weeds are completely dry. Scotts says this is to keep the poison from being transferred from the treated weeds onto desirable plants or grass. However, if your pet were to lick Roundup off its fur or paws, it could become ill. If you suspect your pet has ingested some Roundup from its fur, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Never leave Roundup in an unattended open container. If your pet drinks some, dilute it by having your pet drink water or milk, then contact your veterinarian immediately.

Roundup is also dangerous if it gets into the eyes. If you suspect your pet has some of the herbicide in his eyes, hold them open and rinse gently with water for 15 to 20 minutes (or as long as you can keep your pet still). Call the veterinarian immediately for more instructions.

How it Works

Roundup is a herbicide that is absorbed through plants' leaves. It consists of glyphosate, water and a wetting agent, according to the manufacturer. It is water soluble and non-volatile. It also is rainproof within 30 minutes.

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