Weeds growing in a garden shared by dogs, is it safe?

Aw_Yis

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May 5, 2020
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This is my first time posting so please bear with me.
I have weeds growing naturally around my garden that I would love to give to my torts however I have 3 dogs that use the garden for their business... Is it safe to feed the weeds to the torts? (The ones that are not toxic obviously)
Also, this is a rented house that we have lived in for over 2 years so is it safe to assume that the weeds wouldn't be contaminated with any fertilizer? The garden was totally overgrown when we moved in.
Thanks
 
L

LasTortugasNinja

Guest
Areas that you know the dogs don't do their business are probably free to harvest, but areas where dogs go the weeds are probably coated in an unhealthy vinaigrette.

Wild tortoises will eat feces they come across, and I'm sure they aren't picky if Suzie the Elephant decided to pee on the dandelions. For me, tho, I pass on the potty areas. My dogs have "their areas" to go, so it's easy to find uncontaminated weeds.

As for safe weeds, two years should be fine. Most people attack weeds with topical agents. Very little of that gets into the soil, and once the weeds that are sprayed are pulled and thrown away, their agents are gone too. If anyone uses the sold-at-retail granular weed killer/fertilizers, those can last in the soil for up to a year. The companies make their money by being weak options forcing people to buy lots of it a season.

If you have your yard professionally treated, contact the service or local poison control. Some yard chemicals can last up to 5 years in hard soils.
 

Aw_Yis

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Areas that you know the dogs don't do their business are probably free to harvest, but areas where dogs go the weeds are probably coated in an unhealthy vinaigrette.

Wild tortoises will eat feces they come across, and I'm sure they aren't picky if Suzie the Elephant decided to pee on the dandelions. For me, tho, I pass on the potty areas. My dogs have "their areas" to go, so it's easy to find uncontaminated weeds.

As for safe weeds, two years should be fine. Most people attack weeds with topical agents. Very little of that gets into the soil, and once the weeds that are sprayed are pulled and thrown away, their agents are gone too. If anyone uses the sold-at-retail granular weed killer/fertilizers, those can last in the soil for up to a year. The companies make their money by being weak options forcing people to buy lots of it a season.

If you have your yard professionally treated, contact the service or local poison control. Some yard chemicals can last up to 5 years in hard soils.


Thank you for the help! I'm afraid the only weeds I know they haven't been on are the tops of the blackberry bushes, rose bushes etc.. if they have been on the soil they are planted in or on the bottoms of the bushes are the tops themselves a no-go?
What if I wash them?
Thanks again
 

maggie3fan

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Personally...I know my Sulcata eat their own poop at times...I will not pick weeds out of any area I know neighbors dogs use for their waste...no dandelions covered in dog pee for my tortoises...
 
L

LasTortugasNinja

Guest
Thank you for the help! I'm afraid the only weeds I know they haven't been on are the tops of the blackberry bushes, rose bushes etc.. if they have been on the soil they are planted in or on the bottoms of the bushes are the tops themselves a no-go?
What if I wash them?
Thanks again
It's probably theoretically 100% safe, but remember that torts need minimal protein, and no animal protein. Dogs are typically fed a diet that is minimally digestible, so lots of the "nutrition" ends up on the ground. These end up being absorbed into the weeds. Remember the role of weeds in the wild. They exist to quickly process poor or damaged soil and harsh nutrients so that other, more permanent growth can take over. The weeds will absorb a lot of nitrates and other elements from the waste and store them in the leaves and stocks.

Rinsing will get the fresh pee, poo, and the smell off the weeds, but can't do anything for systemic impurities. For me, I want as healthy as I can get, but if its your only option, mixed in with dark leafy veggies, I'm sure it's fine.

It's not much different than a human eating catfish or swordfish. They eat food with bad elements to them, but you gotta eat a LOT before you show symptoms.
 

Aw_Yis

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Thank you so much. I know it's not ideal but just looking to give them some variety before I get a proper weed set-up. They are all rescued and none had a proper diet or housing 😭
 

Yvonne G

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I think it would be safe to harvest weeds from the doggie toilet area, as long as you wash them before you feed. Leave the weeds soaking in a tub of clean water for a half hour or so to loosen any dried pee, the gently scrub them under the running faucet between your palms.
 
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