Many people prefer houses with great lawns. Maintaining a healthy garden is a fun and rewarding pastime or chore for many. However, the hobby itself can pose risks against other people in the house and their pets because of fertilizers. Many people wonder: are fertilizers safe? How about organic fertilizers? Are they safe for humans and pets?

The Downside of Regular Fertilizers

In a study, it was found that fertilizers do have significant benefits for plant growth. However, constant use may result in health hazards, depletion of soil, contamination of water supply, and pollution. The study also adds that 40 to 60 percent of the crops eaten today are grown with fertilizers, which is concerning because 50 percent of the US population alone feeds on these crops.

Our environment always has a way to balance things out. The problem with fertilizers is that people use too much to cater to the global demand for food. More than half of the population consumes products from synthetic or inorganic fertilizers. Fertilizers can contain nitrogen, potassium, sulfur, calcium, and magnesium, which boosts plant growth but incurs drastic effects in the long run.

Is it Safe to Use Organic Fertilizers?

Fertilizers are known to pose serious health risks, such as irritation in the eyes, skin, or respiratory system. They are also known as a cause of cancer and developmental issues in children and infants. Fertilizers are labeled as hazardous for ingestion, whether for humans or animals.

Most fertilizers contain ingredients considered toxic. Popular fertilizers also contain synthetic chemical elements that are nowhere near safe for human consumption. Fertilizer bags are appropriately labeled as a precautionary measure for everyone who buys it. 

On the other hand, organic fertilizers are usually made up of worm compost, gypsum, lime, and manure to fertilize lawns without the harmful chemicals found in regular fertilizers.

As organic fertilizers are derived from plant or animal products, this alternative provides gardens and lawns with the nitrogen needed without the terrible repercussions. They are also healthier for plants since they are slow-release and do not allow chemicals to build up over time.

Are Organic Fertilizers Safe for Pets?

Going organic is the safest route if you want your plants to grow healthier. However, being organic doesn’t give it a free pass to be considered safe for pets. Despite its source, organic fertilizers can still harm our beloved pets. Keep in mind that no fertilizer is safe to ingest.

Pets, especially dogs, are more at risk of poisoning as they can smell and taste fertilizers. To them, it might seem like a treat that they’d love to try. Fertilizers made from bone, blood, or fish meals are alluring to animals. It can become a health hazard for them if they think it’s real food and ingest it. Organic fertilizers can cause diarrhea, vomiting, inflammation of the pancreas, and foreign body obstructions.


Fertilizer, regardless if it’s traditional or organic, is unsafe for human and animal ingestion. Depending on the fertilizer used, people and animals should stay away from the lawn in the first 48 hours after the first application of the product. However, if it rains and the fertilizer runs with the water, it will take longer before the lawn is safe again for you and your pets. 

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