Lawn Chemicals Linked to 2 Types of Cancer in Dogs

Lawn Chemicals Linked to 2 Types of Cancer in Dogs

Lawn Chemicals Linked to 2 Types of Cancer in Dogs

Spring is here, Summer is just around the corner, and there is nothing as inviting as a lush green open space on a warm, sunny day. Play it safe so your pet can stay safe.

Often the most lush lawns and gardens in the neighborhood have been liberally treated with pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, and other chemicals that neither you nor your pet should be exposed to.

According to a study conducted over a 6 year period at the Foster Hospital for Small Animals at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, exposure to lawn pesticides,  specifically those applied by professional lawn care companies, raised the risk of canine malignant lymphoma (CML) by as much as 70%

Dogs at highest risk for acquiring CML were over 50 pounds and living in homes where pesticides and herbicides were professionally applied, as well as homes where owners used lawn care products containing insect growth regulators, aka chemical killing agents.

Another study performed at the Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at Purdue University concluded certain garden and lawn chemicals are linked to canine bladder cancer, including common herbicides containing 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), 4-chloro-2-methylphenoxypropionic acid (MCPP) and/or dicamba.

The dogs’ exposure to the chemicals occurred through ingestion, inhalation, and transdermally. Breeds with a genetic predisposition for bladder cancer, including Beagles, Scottish Terriers, Shetland Sheepdogs, West Highland White Terriers, and Wire Hair Fox Terriers are at particularly high risk.

The study showed that most of the dogs from homes using the chemicals had herbicides in their urine. Since some dogs from homes that did not use the products also had herbicides in their urine, researchers concluded the wind could carry the chemicals up to 50 ft from the site where they were applied.

We are just beginning to study the far-reaching harmful effects of the huge numbers of environmental chemicals that negatively impact all of our health.

Play it safe so your pet can stay safe

The veterinary experts recommend the following:

  1. Do not apply chemical pesticides or herbicides to your yard, and if you use a lawn care service, do not allow them to use them. Also be aware that a neighbor’s lawn chemicals can potentially contaminate your property and pose a risk to your pet.
  2. Avoid lawn care and other gardening products that contain insect growth regulators (IGRs). And be aware that the chemical pyriproxyfen, an IGR, is used in certain flea/tick spot-on treatments.
  3. Do not allow your pet access to any lawn unless you can confirm no pesticides or herbicides have been used.
  4. Increase the number of baths and foot rinses spring through fall, when chemical application is highest along public highways, parks, schools, streets and public nature preserves.
  5. If you live in a townhouse or community that applies chemicals to common areas, detoxing a patch of grass in your backyard by watering the chemicals down into the soil to reduce skin contact after application.
  6. Keep your pet on a leash and on the sidewalk until you have walked to your pesticide-free destination, and consider a periodic detoxification protocol for your pet.

Transitioning your lawn from fast food to an Organic diet

Espoma Co., a business that has been producing natural and Organic products for the lawn and garden industry for 80 years, created what they call their Safe Paws campaign to help educate people about natural gardening solutions that keep pets healthy and safe outside.

Espoma encourages homeowners to get their lawn off fast food and on “healthy food.” The traditional method of lawn care spreads toxic pesticides over the entire lawn that are potentially harmful to  pets, children, and the environment.

Synthetic fertilizers containing fast-acting chemicals and made with fossil fuels like Nat Gas and coal are another problem in conventional lawn care.

These chemicals can burn the grass and kill earthworms and beneficial organisms in the soil. Excess fertilizer can leach into nearby waterways, causing pollution and harmful algae blooms.

Espoma explains that the focus of Organic lawn care is to produce a healthy lawn and soil using natural Organic fertilizers like bio-charcoal aka Bio-Char.

An Organic lawn has grass roots grown deep into the soil, which makes them less vulnerable to drought, weeds, insects, disease, and other stressors.

Food and garden waste can enhance the quality of garden soil, but remember to keep compost in closed containers, because decomposing waste can make pets sick if ingested.

There are many excellent online resources about how to naturally control weeds and improve soil health without toxic chemicals, and in many communities Organic lawn care services are readily available.

Remember, play it safe so your pet can stay safe.

Paul Ebeling

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Paul Ebeling

Paul A. Ebeling, polymath, excels in diverse fields of knowledge. Pattern Recognition Analyst in Equities, Commodities and Foreign Exchange and author of “The Red Roadmaster’s Technical Report” on the US Major Market Indices™, a highly regarded, weekly financial market letter, he is also a philosopher, issuing insights on a wide range of subjects to a following of over 250,000 cohorts. An international audience of opinion makers, business leaders, and global organizations recognizes Ebeling as an expert.

47 Responses to "Lawn Chemicals Linked to 2 Types of Cancer in Dogs"

  1. Sandra Dighton   May 16, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    We NEVER used chemicals and have lost 2 Welsh Corgis to lymphoma. Now, our black Labrador with hemangiosarcoma.

    • Paul Ebeling   May 17, 2016 at 1:47 am

      Hi Sandra, toxic chemicals are everywhere in our environment, our pets are as susceptible, perhaps more than us humans. So sorry for your pain. Peace, Paul

  2. Susan Frasee   May 17, 2016 at 2:18 am

    This would be much more credible with links to the studies cited..

    • Paul Ebeling   May 17, 2016 at 5:08 am

      Here are the references Susan, do your own research from them, All the best, Paul

      1. Foster Hospital for Small Animals at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, exposure to lawn pesticides specifically those applied by professional lawn care companies raised the risk of canine malignant lymphoma (CML) by as much as 70%.

      2. A study fromDepartment of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at Purdue University concluded certain garden and lawn chemicals are linked to canine bladder cancer, including common herbicides containing 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), 4-chloro-2-methylphenoxypropionic acid (MCPP) and/or dicamba.

      • Bob Dole   May 17, 2016 at 1:43 pm

        1. Not listed on Tuft’s website:
        2. Available here at the bottom:

      • Julie   May 20, 2016 at 11:01 pm

        Please provide author names and where (which journal) the research was published. Unfortunately scholarly work is not typically found by searching pubmed for those types of statements.

      • GoldenLover   May 22, 2016 at 1:51 pm

        This is not a “reference.” Please provide: author’s name(s), date of publication, name of journal published in, and title of the article.

        If you have researched this correctly, then you have read those articles and surely have that information.

        If you can NOT provide that information, how do we know that your information is correct? How are we to verify the truth of what you write?

        I don’t doubt that lawn chemicals are a serious risk to pets, however this particular article reads too much like an advertisement and lacks the literature citations needed to lend it credibility!

        • Paul Ebeling   May 22, 2016 at 8:12 pm

          The data is there, protect your Golden you know the breed is very susceptible to cancer in the US, more so than anywhere in in the world. I do not foot note my work, it is not advertising. For more information go to Have a happy day. Paul

  3. Nate   May 17, 2016 at 2:47 am

    Please provide links to these studies.

    • Paul Ebeling   May 17, 2016 at 5:07 am

      Here are the references Nate, do your own research from them, All the best, Paul

      1. Foster Hospital for Small Animals at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, exposure to lawn pesticides specifically those applied by professional lawn care companies raised the risk of canine malignant lymphoma (CML) by as much as 70%.

      2. A study fromDepartment of Veterinary Clinical Sciences at Purdue University concluded certain garden and lawn chemicals are linked to canine bladder cancer, including common herbicides containing 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), 4-chloro-2-methylphenoxypropionic acid (MCPP) and/or dicamba.

  4. Robin   May 17, 2016 at 5:10 am

    In Seattle, seven dogs in our neighborhood died of an aggressive sinus cancer. I figured it was what they were spraying in the parks in the city. It was heartbreaking seeing our dog succumb to it. Now, I live in a planned community in Southern CA where they spray poison on the lawns in the parks. I’ve called the homeowners association and complained. The chemicals they use cause cancer in young kids and animals…no one takes this seriously. People don’t understand or believe in the danger.

    • Paul Ebeling   May 17, 2016 at 5:51 am

      Robin, it is very serious, you have to leash your dog, walk on the sidewalk and make your back yard safe, pull weeds instead of spraying with Roundup, and fertilize your lawn with Bio-Char, and not nat gas and or coal based fertilizer if you want to keep your pet/s healthy, and yes, feed Real food. Best, Paul

  5. Bill @ The Money Professors   May 17, 2016 at 6:27 am

    Thanks for this article! Very good to know as we are looking to get the yard treated for mosquitoes from a holistic company, but I will make sure I know what they use or else I will not get the lawn treated!

    • Paul Ebeling   May 17, 2016 at 11:00 am

      Good on you Bill. All the best, Paul

  6. Anne   May 17, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    I have a multi dog home and my dogs are in an outdoor pen 20 by20 feet to do business and play. I use vinegar and water spray several times through the season as well as human grade diatomacious earth there to take care of fleas/ticks. Am I doing this right? Should a question what I am doing?

    • Caroline   May 17, 2016 at 5:53 pm

      Awesome, Anne! Human grade Diatomaceous Earth is safe for your pets and kids. Apple cider vinegar is preferred over white vinegar (which is usually made from corn).

      • Paul Ebeling   May 17, 2016 at 6:49 pm

        Caroline, apple cider vinegar is really good stuff. Have a happy day. Paul

  7. julie   May 17, 2016 at 1:58 pm

    Can you kill weeds with that epsom salt & soap mixture and have it be safe for the dogs? What can we use that is safe for dogs? I have two. My next door neighbor uses those chemicals from a professional spray company. I am planning to move in the near future, in part because of these chemicals. I don’t want to be around them either.

  8. Lynda Seelie   May 17, 2016 at 2:10 pm

    Do you have a link or company names for fertilizer that uses Bio-Char?

  9. Holly   May 17, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    Thx for this article, I have an organic, albeit weedy, lawn but it’s clean and I love that! Did not know about the flea Ned’s but always wondered. Thx so much!

  10. Holly   May 17, 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Meds not Ned’s….(autocorrect!)

  11. Barbara Crumbley   May 17, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Is roundup a bad product for dogs & cats .. Carrie terrier ??

    • Paul Ebeling   May 17, 2016 at 10:45 pm

      Barbara, I think Monsanto’s Roundup is bad for dogs, cats, birds and people. All the best, Paul

    • Pat   May 18, 2016 at 12:25 am

      YES!! I have a great weed garden. A few years ago I cleaned it up by pulling & spraying Round-Up near my back fence. I covered it with newspaper, then mulch.

      Within a few days, one of my dogs just didn’t seem herself, and ended up very lethargic. Long story short, it was a little over a week after spraying that I got her to the vet. X-rays showed that her spleen was 1/3 – 1/2 larger than it should be. One of the possible causes she mentioned was pesticide/herbicides. The Round-Up had to be the cause.

      The vet said there was nothing we could do, but watch her. I was in a panic. Mentioned what was happening on facebook. Thank God my breeder saw it and told me to get Chinese Spleen Activator. Within a few day she was back to her normal self. Thank God!

      Since then I put down organic fertilizer one time and that’s it. The lawn looks horrible, but I’d rather have healthy dogs than a healthy lawn.

      • Paul Ebeling   May 18, 2016 at 2:02 am

        Pat, again the power of holistic medicine. Check on Bio-Char (bio-charcoal) for your lawn and garden, it really works. Be healthy, Live lively. Paul

  12. Carole   May 18, 2016 at 3:35 am

    What do you suggest for fleas and ticks? We have flea infestations so often here that i have used True Green for a few years. I won’t be using them again

    • Paul Ebeling   May 18, 2016 at 7:44 am

      Carole, gentle bathing drowns the critters, and safe alternatives to chemical pest repellents include cedar oil (specifically formulated to be applied to pets) and natural food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) (both of which can be applied directly to your pet’s skin and coat – follow label application instructions), and fresh garlic (it must be fresh, not processed — work with your holistic vet to determine a safe amount for your pet’s body weight). Harsh, toxic chemicals should be avoided. Flee and tick season is here, so protect your pet. Best, Paul

  13. mary   May 18, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    I lost all three of my died within five years of moving to my house. All had unusual cancers. The lawn adjacent to mine was doused liberally with all the cides. I dont allow my dogs now to go to that area and have had no dogs with cancers since

    • Paul Ebeling   May 18, 2016 at 11:46 pm

      And Mary, the big chemical companies deny there products do not contribute to the our healh problems and those of our pets. People have to wake up. All the best, Paul

  14. Ann   May 19, 2016 at 2:12 am

    Paul for several years we used True
    Green’s organic version on our back yard where our dogs go to the bathroom. My one 15 year old dog developed liver cancer and lived 4 years thereafter. Then last Sept. My other dog developed a mast cell tumor on her outer stomach. She just past away in March of this year from the disease. Was I even safe in using a commercial company’s “organic” version or are these questionable as well? I plan on using nothing at all in my yard where they go from now on. But I worry that even the organic version from the commercial company may have contributed to these cancers. I kept them off the lawn for the recommended period of time until they dried as well.

    • Paul Ebeling   May 19, 2016 at 5:34 am

      Ann, I believe it is also very important to look at the nutrition we give out pets, the pet food industry has turned Vets into pet food marketers. I am suspect. check this out please, we do not really know what’s in the food. All the best, Paul

      • Ann   May 28, 2016 at 3:46 pm

        Thanks Paul. I actually have had them on what are supposed to be good foods their whole lives and limited vaccines too. They have only been on Heartguard for heart work preventative. They have eaten Fromm, Born Free, Taste of the Wild, and Earth Born. I am at a loss. Thanks for the article and feedback.

  15. Sharon Mckay   May 19, 2016 at 6:33 am

    My 11 year old shih Tzu just had his left eye removed. My neighbor sprayed the big lot next to our home. The Vet. Said he had a melting ulcer of eye. Rare but heard of. Within 12 hours it took over total eye. Biopsy totally clear. No cancer no injury, no infection. Could this possibly be related to the spraying somehow? His eye just painfully melted away.

  16. ROBIN   May 19, 2016 at 4:20 pm

    I live in AZ so have a more natural desert type yard and do not grow anything like grass, flowers, garden etc. However, certain weeds around the patio would be nice to eliminate along with some of our scary insects like spiders and scorpions! Any suggestions since I have dogs!?

    • Paul Ebeling   May 19, 2016 at 5:20 pm

      Hi Robin, thank you for your comment, I do not, but will look into it. Have a happy day. Paul

      • Paul Ebeling   May 19, 2016 at 7:26 pm

        Did you know: Epsom salt can be your garden’s greatest ally? You can easily find this miracle ingredient at your local pharmacy for about $4 for a 3-lb bag. While it’s typically used for pain and stress relief, it’s the magnesium found in Epsom salt that actually works wonders for plant growth.To improve seed germination, simply add 1 cup per 100 square feet of tilled soil, or sprinkle 1–2 tablespoons into the hole before dropping in your seeds. This will not only lead to stronger seedlings, it will also encourage blossoming and fruit production, without the need for costly chemical fertilizers. And to help deter slugs, snails and other vegetable bugs, try sprinkling some Epsom salt around the garden for natural pest control.

        So give Epsom salt a try, and watch your garden — and savings — flourish!

  17. Anne   May 20, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Paul – Bob Dole stated above that the first study you listed was not on the Tufts website; do you happen to know the rest of the citation (journal, date of publication, first author, etc)?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Paul Ebeling   May 23, 2016 at 7:53 pm

      Hi Anne, I will look. Thanks and have a happy day. Paul

  18. Mary Ann Zuckerman   May 22, 2016 at 5:25 am

    What are the actual names of the chemicals in pesticides and herbicides that are associated with the higher risk of lymphoma?

  19. Beth   May 23, 2016 at 2:34 am

    Any suggestion on what to do if your dogless neighbor uses this poison? How do I keep it from traveling to my yard? This is frustrating to say the least!

    • Paul Ebeling   May 23, 2016 at 4:47 am

      Beth, the best you can do if you cannot ecoRanger your neighbor is to keep you yard super clean and check with your holistic Vet for cleansing methods. All the best, Paul

  20. Colleen   May 24, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    and to think we also as humans are in the same environment. We live neck in neck with our pets, cancer is rampid in both….Pancreatic cancer, a few years back we heard of few cases, now I can name many who have succumbed to it…I can go on and on. We lost two Rotties to Osteosarcoma and a Dobie to a brain tumor….wake up America….

    • Paul Ebeling   May 24, 2016 at 7:44 pm

      Colleen we live in a toxic world, and have to do everything we can to avoid the chemicals that harm us. Peace, Paul

  21. Michael Birmingham   July 2, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    This guys using scare tactics to sell his bio char bullshit. This was not a very scientific article at all.

    • Paul Ebeling   July 2, 2016 at 10:53 pm

      Michael, The soil in our back yards is important to the health of our pets, using bio-charcoal is a natural way to circumvent that toxicity, and making the exchange from toxic to healthy takes some time. Have a happy 4th of July. Paul

  22. Angel BuddyBoy Floyd   July 2, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    I lost my battle with lymphoma @ just 5 1/2 years old on June 2nd of this year.

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