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Whether hydroseeding can be dangerous for dogs depends much on the hydroseeding mix that is going to be used as the ingredients will be different, depending on the circumstances and consumer requirements, on each project.
A hydroseed mix contains a number of ingredients, some of which, such as fertilizer, have varieties that can be harmful to dogs. In addition, some hydroseed mixes can also contain synthetic polymers which can also be dangerous for dogs if ingested. However, with consultation with your contractor, the right preparation and mix, and ensuring that your dog out of the way during application, then generally, hydroseeding should be perfectly safe for dogs.
To help keep your dog as safe as possible there are several aspects of the hydroseeding process that need to be considered, in relation your dog, to ensure that there is no risk. These are the ground preparation, the hydroseeding mix and application process, and the aftercare seed germination cycle. Each of these stages could be problematic for your dog if not addressed in advance.
Is Hydroseeding Safe for Dogs? What Are the Potential Dangers
Hydroseeding is a technique that has become increasingly popular in recent years. It’s a low-cost way to improve the health and appearance of lawns and grass areas Whilst in general, particularly after the application of the seed, hydroseeding is safe, some homeowners worry that the materials and process pose a danger for their pets.
Hydroseeding preparation in relation to dog safety
One of the great advantages of hydroseeding is that it can be applied without a great deal of preparation as the mix of seed, fertilizer, and water can provide enough foundation for grass to establish itself.
There are situations where additional preparation is needed. Extra preparation to the application area is required particularly when overseeding an existing lawn or if a polymer is required for soil stabilization and to help bind the seed to the soil until the grass establishes itself.
You need to be especially wary of the use of polymers. These polymers can be applied in preparation or as part of the hydroseed mix. Many of the polymers are synthetic and can in some instances be toxic for dogs. If polymers are required it is certainly something to discuss with the contractor.
Hydroseeding application – Keep your dogs inside!
No matter how well trained your dog may be, during the application of the hydroseed, your dogs should be kept well away from the area while the process is in progress.
Unless you have built your own hydroseeder to do the job, the hydroseeding process will be delivered by commercial contractors and they would expect your pets to be kept out of the way. Other than it might hinder their work the equipment used involves a mixing tank and a high-pressure hose.
The main danger is in the application of the seed as it is carried out at pressures of around 100PSI. As you could imagine, it would be easy to hurt an animal if they inadvertently strayed into the path of the hydroseed spray.
Post hydroseeding application – Can dogs go onto hydroseeded areas?
After the application of the hydroseed mix, it is generally advisable that, for the first ten days to a couple of weeks, you venture as little as possible onto the treated area. This applies to dogs as well as people. Whilst not a health issue for your dog, the seed needs to be able to germinate and establish itself, and traffic over the treated area can hamper this process.
In terms of health dangers for dogs with the majority of hydroseed mixes, there probably won’t be any issues. However, if the mix includes a polymer or certain types of fertilizer, there may be a risk of poisoning. Clearly, you need to know what is in the hydroseed mix and, if you have a dog it is something you should again discuss with the contractor so that you can get a ‘dog safe’ mix.
Hydroseeding materials that can be harmful to dogs
As mentioned there are several ingredients of a hydroseed mix that have the potential to be dangerous to dogs and other pets. Primarily you should check for polymers and the type of fertilizer being used.
There are many types of fertilizer that can contain harmful chemicals that, if ingested, can be dangerous for dogs. the good news is that after around 72 hours most fertilizers lose their toxicity and, as you shouldn’t let your dog onto the hydroseed treated area for at least ten days, your dog should be safe.
If you are in a position where you have no choice but to let your dog onto the treated area then you should ask your contractor to use organic fertilizer or compost as these are usually pet safe.
How long do dogs need to be away from hydroseeding areas?
It will take the seed at least ten to fourteen days to germinate, sometimes longer, depending on the grass species used. As such, you shouldn’t really let your dog onto the treated area during this time. After this period, generally, any hazard present should be negated.
If you really have to let your dog onto the hydroseeded areas before this time then at least try to keep them off for at least 72 hours and let them on to it as little as possible.
Summary: Is hydroseeding safe for dogs?
While hydroseeding is generally considered safe for humans, as we have seen it can pose risks for animals. Dogs and cats can inhale dust from the sand and fertilizer during the application or be hurt getting in the way of the spray. After the application, they also might ingest the material on the treated area as the seed germinates and establishes itself.
Most dangers though only last for around 72 hours and can be probably mitigated almost completely if you talk to the contractor before the project.
So, is hydroseeding safe for dogs? many of the dangers exist with general lawn care, other overseeding methods or laying sod. Hydroseeding is no more dangerous than any of these processes.
In terms of elements specific to hydroseeding, if you have the right preparation, and keep them well away during the application process then it can be perfectly safe for dogs.
Commonly Asked Questions
Can your dogs damage a newly hydroseeded lawn?
It is important that you keep your dogs off of any freshly hydroseeded areas if at all possible as they can damage the seeds both by walking on them and if they urinate on them, particularly if they tend to always urinate in the same area.
In terms of urination female dogs tend to be worse than male dogs but there are supplements that can be added to their diet that will help if this is an issue.
 Charlotte Means, DVM, MLIS, Diplomate ABVT & ABTASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, University of Illinois: Treating Fertilizer Ingestions? as Easy as N-P-K