Is Milorganite Safe for Dogs

Is Milorganite Safe for Dogs?

Everyone loves a lush, green lawn. But as a pet owner, ensuring the products you use are safe for your furry friends is crucial. Among the various lawn fertilizers available, Milorganite has garnered attention. But, is Milorganite safe for dogs?

Milorganite is generally safe for dogs as it’s an organic fertilizer. However, excessive ingestion can lead to digestive discomfort. It’s advisable to keep dogs off treated areas for 24-48 hours after application for added safety.

Let’s dig a bit deeper into this.

What Exactly is Milorganite?

Milorganite stands out as a unique organic nitrogen fertilizer derived from heat-dried microbes. It has been on the market for several decades, proving itself as a go-to for many lawn enthusiasts and gardeners. Its name is an abbreviation of the term “Milwaukee Organic Nitrogen.”

Milorganite originates from the city of Milwaukee. In the early 1920s, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District set out to find an environmentally responsible way to manage waste. They discovered that treating wastewater resulted in a byproduct of organic microbes. These microbes were then heat-dried to produce what we know today as Milorganite.

The entire process stands as a commendable example of sustainable waste management, converting potentially harmful waste into something beneficial for gardens and lawns.

The magic of Milorganite lies in its slow-release formula. Unlike some synthetic fertilizers that release nutrients rapidly and can burn plants if applied excessively, Milorganite releases nitrogen at a pace plants can absorb. This ensures that lawns and gardens remain lush, green, and healthy over more extended periods.

Its organic nature ensures that it is environmentally friendly, and its unique iron content can help grass achieve a deep green hue.

Is Milorganite Safe for Dogs?

The safety of pets, especially dogs, remains a top concern for homeowners who use garden and lawn products. With dogs being curious by nature and often sniffing, licking, or even ingesting substances from the yard, understanding the safety of Milorganite becomes paramount.

Pros and Cons

Milorganite’s organic origins suggest it poses less risk than some synthetic alternatives. It does not contain harmful chemicals or toxins in its makeup. However, “organic” doesn’t automatically translate to “harmless.” Large consumption can be problematic.


  • Natural Ingredients: Unlike other chemical fertilizers, Milorganite is derived from organic matter, reducing the risk of chemical exposure to dogs.
  • No Known Toxic Substances: Milorganite lacks harmful toxins that can be found in some other fertilizers.


  • Overconsumption Risks: If a dog ingests a substantial amount of Milorganite, it might experience digestive discomfort.
  • Iron Content: Milorganite’s iron can be problematic if ingested in large quantities.

Reports and Real-life Incidents

While concrete scientific studies on the effects of Milorganite ingestion by dogs are limited, anecdotal reports from pet owners do exist. Some dog owners claim their pets have experienced digestive issues, like diarrhea or vomiting, after consuming Milorganite. However, it’s vital to differentiate between a dog’s reaction from eating a small lick versus consuming a substantial quantity.

To remain on the safe side, it’s always wise to monitor dogs post-application and ensure the product is stored out of their reach. If your pup shows signs of distress after ingesting a significant amount, contacting a veterinarian promptly is essential.

Alternatives to Milorganite

Milorganite is highly favored for its eco-friendly approach and effectiveness as a slow-release fertilizer. Still, gardeners and homeowners may seek alternatives due to personal preferences, availability, or specific plant needs. When searching for a different organic fertilizer, several viable options stand out.


Compost is a gardener’s gold. It’s rich in nutrients and can improve soil texture and moisture retention. Made from decomposed organic matter like vegetable scraps, yard trimmings, and manure, compost is an excellent alternative to Milorganite. By composting at home, one can even reduce waste and create a tailored blend for specific gardening needs.

Alfalfa Meal

Derived from sun-cured alfalfa, Alfalfa meal (affiliate link) is rich in nitrogen and minerals. It acts as a slow-release fertilizer and also contains a natural growth stimulant called triacontanol, which can boost plant growth and yield.

Fish Emulsion

Fish emulsion is an organic fertilizer made from processed fish. It offers a balanced mix of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Though it might have a strong odor, its nutrient-rich profile makes it a favorite for many gardeners.

Worm Castings

Worm castings, or vermicompost, are the waste products of worms that have been fed organic matter. They are nutrient-rich, pH-balanced, and improve soil structure, making them an exceptional alternative to synthetic fertilizers.

Guidelines for Using Milorganite Around Dogs

Using Milorganite safely around pets, especially dogs requires some forethought and precautions.

Application Timing

Always apply Milorganite when your dog isn’t around. This reduces the chance of them coming into direct contact with the product or ingesting it. Once applied, water the lawn thoroughly to help the granules sink into the soil.

Restricting Access

After applying Milorganite, it’s a good practice to keep dogs off the treated area for at least 24-48 hours. This ensures the granules are well-settled and minimizes the risk of ingestion or direct contact.

Storing Properly

Always store Milorganite and other fertilizers in a place inaccessible to pets. A locked shed or high shelf can prevent curious dogs from sniffing or tasting the product.

Monitoring Post-Application

Keep a close watch on your pet after application. If they show signs of discomfort or unusual behavior, consult a veterinarian. It’s always better to be cautious when introducing any new product into a pet-friendly environment.


Is Milorganite Safe for Dogs

Milorganite, with its organic origins, offers numerous benefits for lawns and gardens. Its environmentally friendly composition is a testament to innovative waste management and sustainable gardening.

As with all products introduced into a space shared with pets, caution is necessary. With careful application, proper storage, and attentive monitoring, homeowners can strike a balance—nurturing both their green spaces and ensuring the safety of their furry companions.

Always stay informed, consider alternatives when needed, and prioritize the well-being of all living beings in your care.

Some of My Favorite Products For Dog Owners

I hope this article has helped you just a bit in everyday life as a dog owner. Being a dog owner for more than 25 years, I’ve tried many different products with varying success, but these products below are some that I can highly recommend to every dog and their owner without hesitation!

These links are affiliate links, so if you do end up using the links, I will earn a commission. But it’s products that I use daily myself, and I have the utmost praise for.

Dog Food: Every dog needs to eat correctly, and finding the best food for your dog can be challenging, as the market is absolutely flooded with products. But since 2015 when the company was founded, I’ve been using Ollie Petfood. With their product being tailor-made to suit every dog’s specific needs, and as my dogs love the product, I’m pretty sure I’ve found a product I will continue to use for many years more. If you use my link you can get 50% off your first order.

Dog Training: If you’ve ever owned a puppy, you know that it requires a lot of training to grow into a well-behaved adult. Brain Training for Dogs has helped me immensely with the mental training part of raising a dog, and it’s something I strongly recommend you consider.

Grooming: If you have a dog in your home, you’re going to need a brush, and for this, I recommend a Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush. For that price, you simply can’t beat this brush for everyday grooming.

If you’re looking for the most up-to-date recommendations, check out my recommended products section that I’ve created to help every dog owner!