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The Great Green Grass of Home

How to have a healthy, glorious dog-friendly lawn, no chemicals required

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Photo Anastasiia Chepinska/

For dogs and kids, nothing beats an expanse of natural green grass. For one, unlike artificial turf, there are no issues with odour build-up, an obvious concern for dog people. It’s also softer and it’s natural, converting carbon dioxide into oxygen and filtering groundwater through its roots. Natural grass also helps to delay runoff, reduce erosion, and cool urban heat, and provides an ecosystem for thousands of crawling critters.

To minimize maintenance and water needs, choose the right grass for your area. Family-run Bethel Farms provides sod options to suit differing climates, from drought tolerant varieties to grasses that are shade tolerant.

Next, take a look at your lawn care regimen and ditch any pesticides and herbicides. The statistics speak for themselves: exposure to lawn pesticides raised the risk of canine malignant lymphoma by as much as 70 percent, according to a six-year study undertaken by the Foster Hospital for Small Animals.

Dogs exposed to lawns treated with common garden and lawn pesticides and herbicides were also seven times more likely to develop bladder cancer, according to a study by the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at Purdue University that compared environmental exposure histories. Female dogs were found to be particularly at risk.

It’s not good for you (or the environment) either. Roundup maker Bayer is paying $10 billion to settle cancer lawsuits, with some of the money set aside for future cases. They’ve faced tens of thousands of claims linking the weedkiller to cases of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

So, ditch the chemicals already. The good news is you can still have a gorgeous, green lawn. Organic lawn care service providers like NaturaLawn create lush lawns without the toxic chemicals. Their lawn care programs protect you and your pets against harmful pesticides and chemicals while also combating weeds, pests, and common lawn issues like brown patches with natural products, so you can feel comfortable watching your kids and pets play.

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