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Can Grass Kill Your Dog?

6 min read

How to Protect Your Dog from Grass Awn Injury


Unfortunately, owners can do only so much to protect their pets from the effects of grass awns. For working dogs, or for dogs that spend a lot of their time recreating outdoors in tall grass, there are commercially available vests that cover the chest and abdomen, as well as full head coverings. Walking dogs on a short leash to prevent them from running through tall grass also helps.


It’s wise to examine your dog after you’ve returned home from a walk or play time outside. A grooming brush can remove a tangled awn from a dog’s coat, and this is a good time to also inspect the dog’s snout, ears, and between its toes for any foreign materials. Keeping the fur between your dog’s toes trimmed will also help.


Carefully examining your dog after walks and time spent outside is the best defense against grass awns. And don’t hesitate to get your veterinarian involved if you suspect that your dog is suffering from the ill effects of coming in contact with them.



Additional Images:


grass awns, awn and dog

Shown: Grass awns illustrated, Bromus madritensis / Image credit: Stanford Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve


grass awns, oat grass, awn and dog

Shown: Common oat grass / Image credit: California’s Coastal Prairies