The Lawn Habit That Is Killing Your Dog

By Leah Zerbe

If you really love me, you won't use chemical pesticides!

A lush lawn creates a sense of pride for many American homeowners, but a 2012 study found that utilizing a chemical lawn service to achieve those results is likely causing malignant cancer in many pet dogs.

In the study, researchers identified 263 dogs with biopsy-confirmed canine malignant lymphoma (CML), 240 dogs with benign tumors, and 230 dogs undergoing surgeries unrelated to cancer. Then, they asked the pet owners to complete a 10-page questionnaire. Scientists found that dogs with malignant lymphoma were 70 percent more likely to live in a home where professionally applied lawn pesticides had been used. Dogs with the serious malignancy were also 170 percent more likely to come from homes where owners used chemical insecticides to combat pests inside of the home.

Read More: The 8 Biggest Pet Threats in Your Home

Interestingly, this study found that use of flea and tick control products did not appear to cause an increased risk of canine lymphoma.

Humans should take this study as a warning, too. The methods researchers used to determine risk in the dog study are part of a trusted model for assessing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma risk in humans. Other studies have linked lawn chemicals to melanoma and childhood leukemia.

Read More: 7 Quick, Easy, and Safe Lawn Fixes

Abstract of Environmental Health 112(1): 171-6 (Jan. 2012).
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Note: The Rodale Research Feed features new research findings that may include preliminary or unconfirmed results. Check with a healthcare provider, or an appropriate advisor you trust, before making any significant changes based on these reports.

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