Stonyfield Organic conducted a survey to see how close we have become with our pets over quarantine and how to keep those relationships healthy

By Kelli Bender
August 11, 2020 01:35 PM
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People and their pets are only getting closer during the coronavirus pandemic.

A newly released survey from Stonyfield Organic found that out of 1,000 Americans surveyed, 64% of respondents said they took more walks with their dogs during quarantine. Additionally, the same survey also found that 74% of respondents happily share their bed and/or couch with their pooch.

While Stonyfield Organic is all for bonding with your pet, they aren't a fan of what can come along on a dog's fur. According to the company, "65% of playing fields in the U.S. are sprayed with harmful pesticides like glyphosate, 2,4-D and Dicamba, a source of concern for chemical exposure at a time when many people and pets are relying on them as never before."

These pesticides found in parks and even your own lawn, depending on what products you use, can be tracked into your home by your pet, where they can continue to have a negative impact on your family. Stonyfield Organic says in their recent findings that "studies have shown dogs have a 70% higher risk of canine lymphoma cancer after herbicide-treated lawn exposure than dogs not exposed."

To combat the effects harmful pesticides can have on our food, health, and pets, Stonyfield Organic started the #PlayFree initiative, a push to get homeowners and public spaces to switch to organic lawn and garden maintenance that doesn't depend on potentially harmful pesticides.

As part of this effort, Stonyfield Organic is teaming up with 14 new communities across the country to convert outdoor fields and parks to organic grounds management. Since launching #PlayFree in 2018, the company has contributed $2 million to this goal and has worked with 35 different communities to transition to organic grounds management.

"With appreciation for outdoor spaces at a high, we want to make sure people know how to enjoy them to the fullest by making sure they are free from harmful chemicals and pesticides," Gary Hirshberg, Stonyfield Organic co-founder, said in a statement. "The primary reason Americans continue to treat their own yards with pesticides is because they are skeptical that organic maintenance can be as impactful as chemical maintenance. That’s simply not the case as we have seen tremendous results from our participating StonyFIELD #PlayFree communities, who are reporting not only healthier parks and fields but also a decrease in maintenance costs over time."

Along with healthier parks, #PlayFree is also aiming for healthier pets.

"From a pet perspective, the issue of pesticides on backyards, parks and fields – and the negative health effects they can have on our pets – is one that I wish more pet parents were aware of," said celebrity veterinarian Dr. Lisa Lippman, DVM. "In fact, given that pesticides may cause anything such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and even seizures or death in dogs, I think it’s very important that pet parents take steps to limit their dogs’ exposure and I encourage everyone to check out the great resources Stonyfield has provided on its website for people to make change both in their own backyards as well as local communities."

To learn more about #PlayFree, and how to transition your own backyard to organic management, visit Stonyfield's website.