In most of North America we have an invasive weed known as cheat grass. It will take over fields and crops as it starts to grow earlier than most native plants in the spring and it can grow in cool weather. It can grow 6 to 24 inches, its roots systems are so extensive that it is able to take in more water and nutrients before native plants have even started to grow. They start off growing as a small green weed and as they mature they become a red/purple color meaning they are starting to dry up and will be dropping their seeds when they reach a light tan color. Cheat grass has been known to cause many problems with dogs as they can get stuck in the animals fur, paws, ears, eyes, mouth and other places where their hair is thick and/or curly.
This seed works similar like an arrowhead with its barbed angled edges and once it plants itself it keeps going. There is no going backwards for this seed. When taking your dog out on trails and you happen notice this weed to be very common where you’re exploring then I highly recommend checking over your dogs coat, face, mouth, ears, paws and do a brush over to make sure none are hiding. This has been known to cause serious issues and most likely cause surgery to remove a seed that has planted itself in your dogs body. Please be aware if your dog is constantly licking their paws, biting a spot over and over as it may be a cheat grass that has just planted itself and sometimes if you are able to catch it early you can remove it yourself and be free of a vet visit and/or possible surgery. If not then you may regret not looking over you pup after your adventure in the woods. Always better to be safe than sorry. For tips on grooming and how to better protect your dog based on its breed, please contact your local groomer for tips on how to help keep down cheat grass in your dogs coat. For an example picture on how we trim our personal dogs feet, see below!
For picture see below.