One of the most common activities during the summer months is putting down grass seed in a yard. It’s the perfect time for growing grass, and everyone loves a love green yard. As dog owners throw grass seeds down, many of them ask the question: Is grass seed safe for dogs?
Is Grass Seed Safe for Dogs?
No, grass seed is not safe for dogs. Grass seeds can be up to 2 centimeters long and have a pointy end. It’s easy for them to penetrate and become lodged under the skin. It’s also easy for dogs to swollen grass seeds, especially in areas there are many of them. When any one of these situations happens, it can lead to serious problems.
What Happens When Grass Seed and Dogs Connect
When grass seed and dogs connect externally or internally from ingesting it, the following complications can occur:
If the seed becomes lodged under the skin and isn’t removed, the open wound can become infected.
Redness and Swelling
Just like when humans get a splinter, a seed under the skin can become irritated, red, and swollen.
Loss of Eyesight
When a seed pieces the eye, a dog may suffer from permanent loss of eyesight.
It’s easy for grass seed to become lodged inside of the ear under the skin. If it gets too far into the ear canal, hearing loss is possible.
Just as the grass seed under the skin can become injected, the same can happen inside of the ear.
If the seed makes its way to the eardrum, it may rupture from the seed piercing it.
A dog that ingests grass seeds may end up suffering from a fatal lung infection.
The lung infection may result in pneumonia, which is also life-threatening.
After swallowing grass seed, the seed may block the airway if it gets stuck on the way to the stomach. This can prevent the dog from breathing resulting in death.
Damaged Joints, Ligaments, or Tendons
Grass seed is so sharp that it can continue to burrow itself into the body. The seed can penetrate joints, ligaments, and tendons causing severe pain and damage.
Seeds that piece the throat cause excruciating pain.
Most dog owners have no idea their dog is suffering from a grass seed-related issue. They just notice their dog is hurt or feeling sick.
For those who do know that grass seeds are the culprit, the most important thing to do is get them out from under the skin.
How to Remove Grass Seed from a Dog’s Skin
The best way to remove grass seed from a dog’s skin is to use a pair of long tweezers, known as crocodile forceps. Smaller, more common tweezer do not have the force to remove the seed from the skin.
It’s best to let the veterinarian remove the grass seed(s) since it can be easily broken and lost under the skin. Sometimes, the vet needs to use anasthesia or sedatives to work the grass seed(s) out without causing your pup discomfort.
After removing seeds from deep under the skin, antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medicine may need to be prescribed to prevent infection and further pain.
Unfortunately, even veterinarians can have a difficult time removing grass seeds from a dog’s skin, so surgery may be required.
How to Protect Your Dog from Grass Seed
The good news is that there are ways to protect your dog from the danger of grass seeds.
Avoid Long Grass
Seeds can get lost in tall grass, so avoid taking your dog for walks in it.
Brushing and cutting your dog’s coat, especially after being outside, can help catch grass seed on the fur before it makes its way into the skin.
Checking your dog’s fur after being outside can help prevent any seeds from making their way from your dog’s coat to the skin. These checks can also identify problems because they become serious. If you see any redness or swelling, that’s a good indication there may be something that is irritating the area.
Dog Insurance for Emergencies
While you may just be looking for the answer to the question: “Is grass seed safe for dogs?” You may want to take this time to consider dog insurance. For as much as a couple of Starbucks drinks a month, you could save yourself thousands of dollars in emergency veterinarian care.
If your dog ever has an injury or a medical condition that isn’t pre-existing, dog insurance would cover the cost of treatment. It’s worth it. You can read more about it while you’re here:
Grass Seed and Dogs Don’t Mix
Is grass seed safe for dogs? Grass seed is not safe for dogs. It can cause infections, hearing loss, eyesight loss, joint, ligament, and tendon damage, and many other serious life-threatening medical issues.
Call your veterinarian as soon as you notice any problems with your pup after being outside near where someone or you are growing grass. The faster your pet gets treatment, the less damage will occur.