There are many facets to answering this question. First, read the bag – read the itty bitty print way on the bottom – often, these products recommend waiting several hours or until the next rain before allowing pets on treated areas. The chemicals can burn foot pads, or tongues if our dogs or cats lick it off their feet. In more serious cases, the chemicals can cause liver or kidney or intestinal issues.
The next thing to consider is decorative wood shavings. Recently, there have been products that smell delicious to dogs – even chocolate-like. These treatments contain theobromine, a toxic chemical if eaten by dogs. How about the colored mulch? These are also chemicals, and dogs are dogs – they do like to chew – they shouldn’t be eating wood shavings.
How about the professional yard services? They claim their products are safe for pets. Well, generally safe for pets. Anyone can be sensitive to anything, including yard treatment. If you have your yard treated professionally, I still recommend waiting until the next rain before letting your pet on the grass.
So, what about those weed and feed products? They kill the unwanted plants (dandelions and such) and fertilize the wanted plants (grass). Ever wonder how that works? I’m not a chemist, only took some classes, but that’s chemistry and chemicals at work there. Timed release type things, growth regulators.
Personally? I think freshly bloomed dandelions are pretty (one (wo)man’s weed is another’s treasure), the bloomed and seeded ones not so much, but hmm. What’s more important?
The bottom-line – read it on your lawn and garden product bag – any doubt – don’t use it.