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As with almost anything, information is power.

What we know about pets and lawns:

The EPA estimates that Americans apply 90
million pounds of pesticides every year.

Every year the ASPCA receives tens of thousands
of calls involving animal companions who’ve had
potentially harmful contact with insecticides, weed
killers and other garden hazards.

According to the National Canine Cancer
Foundation, cancer affects 1 out of every 3 dogs.
Cancer has no known single cause. However,
the ASPCA says that both hereditary and
environmental factors can contribute to cancer
in pets.

A 2004 study of Scottish terriers found that dogs
exposed to lawn and garden chemicals may have
a higher risk of bladder cancer.

The more pet parents know about potentially harmful products,
the better they will be at keeping them happy and healthy.
After all, who could argue that less chemicals on our
lawn isn’t better for people, pets and the planet.

We believe, like eating nutritious food, the safest practice is to
use organic lawn and garden products and to limit the use of
potentially harmful garden chemicals.

Most conventional lawn care programs spread pesticides
on the entire lawn, whether there is a problem or not.
These pesticides are potentially harmful to children, pets and
the environment. Conventional lawn programs also use synthetic
fertilizers that are loaded with fast acting chemicals, and made
with fossil fuels such as natural gas and coal. These chemicals
can cause grass to burn, and can kill earthworms and beneficial
microbes in the soil. All excess chemical fertilizers not taken up
into the grass can leach away into nearby waterways, causing
harmful algae blooms.

Organic lawn care focuses on providing a healthy lawn
and soil. In healthy lawns, grass roots grow deep into the soil,
making them more resistant to drought and other stress such as
weeds, insects and diseases. To achieve this, you or the service
that you use need to feed your lawn with natural organic fertilizers
like the ones from Espoma. They provide long lasting nutrition
that won’t burn your lawn or leach out into nearby waterways. You
won’t have to mow your lawn as often and your children and pets
can play on it without any worries. Four simple applications are all
you need to have a strong, lush green lawn.

Get your lawn on Healthy Food!

MYTH 1: I won’t be able to control weeds.
Did you know that a lawn with about 15% weeds can look
practically weed-free to the average observer? If weeds are a
big problem for your lawn, you may want to apply Espoma Weed
Preventer in the Spring. A healthy lawn will grow thick, deep roots
that will help keep even the toughest weeds from sprouting.

MYTH 2: Organics cost a lot more.
The initial costs of using organics may be slightly more, but
according to a study by Environmental GrassRoots Education,
once established, an organic lawn program can result in savings
of more than 25% over a conventional program. That’s because
an organic program builds up the soil biology, which will, over
time, sustain the grass with minimal inputs. So it’s less
expensive to use organics in the long run.

MYTH 3: I will have insect problems.
For insect control, attract birds! They are nature’s best
biological insect controllers. Plant trees that birds love and
use as sources for food, such as bittersweet, crabapple,
flowering dogwood or holly. Use plants as pest repellents
such as marigolds, nasturtiums and geraniums.

MYTH 4: My grass won’t look good.
While synthetic fertilizers offer a potent, fast dose of greening,
much of their nutrition leaches away. Organics are slower to
release but last much longer. And if you use a mulching mower
to return clippings to the lawn, you reduce the lawn’s nutritional
need by up to 30%. That means you don’t need as much fertilizer
and can still have a lush, green lawn.

The yard is one big adventure for your dog or cat.
Filled with different sights, smells, tastes and
sounds, pets are into everything. The first step to
a safe yard is to look around and evaluate how to
make it safer for your best friend.
Store hazardous products in a secure place
Dogs and cats are curious. Keep dangerous chemicals
such as insecticides, paint, car parts and gasoline
out of reach.
Keep grasses mowed
Since fleas and ticks lurk in tall grasses, keep your
lawns mowed at 3 – 3.5 inches. Don’t go much shorter
than that otherwise the grass won’t help suppress weeds.
Safe Paws in Winter
Wash your pet’s paws with water after a winter walk.
Salt from ice melt can make your pet sick if ingested.
Make sure pets have a collar with identification tags
on, even for short walks.
Food and garden waste make excellent additions to
garden soil. Just keep pets out of the compost pile
as some garden waste may get your pet sick if eaten
while decomposing.
Standing water
Standing water can be a breeding ground for parasites,
bacteria, worms and mosquitoes. Replace hazardous standing
water with a rain garden, or install a proper drainage system.
Move it
Give healthy adult dogs at least 20 minutes of exercise
twice a day. You can even train some cats to walk on
a leash. Find a good harness and don’t give up after
a few attempts.
Did you know?
• The Espoma Company is a fourth generation, family
owned business located in Millville, NJ.
• Now over 85 years young, Espoma is the original
and largest manufacturer of organic fertilizers for
the retail lawn and garden industry.
• Since 1929, not one employee has lost their job
due to automation in the manufacturing plant.
• Our employees are like family, with multi-generations
working side by side, and an average tenure of 14
years with the company.
• Espoma uses 100% solar powered electricity to run
its manufacturing and office operations.
• Almost 3 million kilowatt hours of electricity have been
generated since its installation. Visit
for up to the minute monitoring of our solar power.
• We are committed to our mission “People, Pets, Planet”.
We put family first. And for us, that means pets, too.
Since 1929 The Espoma Company has been the leader
in natural gardening solutions. While much has changed
throughout the years, our core philosophy has guided four
generations – make the highest quality, most effective
natural and organic gardening products possible.
From our line of organic plant foods, like Holly-tone®, to our
Premium Organic Lawn Food, we make sure all our products
work in harmony with nature to grow beautiful healthy lawns
and gardens.
For more information on how to have a Safe Paws Lawn
visit or ask your local garden center how
to switch to the Espoma Organic Annual Feeding Program.