If you're a dog owner with a yard, it's likely your dog spends a good amount of time out there. As summer starts to wind down, it's only natural for them (and us) to want to spend as much time outside as possible. Unfortunately, the end of summer also brings about something else that's not as pleasant - in fact, veterinarians are warning pet owners about the potential killer that is foxtail grass.
Found mostly in the Western half of the United States, foxtail grass is a grass-like weed that can cause serious damage to a dog's eyes, nose, feet, skin, and stomach.
According to WebMD:
Foxtail plants can be risky for your dog. The barbed seed heads of the foxtail plant can work their way into any part of your dog or cat, from the nose to between the toes and inside the ears, eyes, and mouth. They can even simply dig themselves directly into a patch of skin.
Foxtail grass seeds don't get broken down in the dog's body, so they can cause serious infection once embedded. They're even worse than splinters because at least those have a chance of working their way out again. If anything, these seeds only get embedded deeper and deeper. Left untreated, they can even cause death.
If your dog is quite furry, the seeds can be quite hard to find, so the best way to keep your pet safe is clear your yard of foxtail grass altogether. Be sure to look out for foxtail grass when you take your dog on walks, too, as it grows pretty much anywhere - from parks and forests to sidewalks and roads.