Weeds, Allergies, and Pets

According to whatever government official or committee decides these things, today is recognized as weed appreciation day. Yes, I suppose that weeds need their lovin’, too. No one left behind and all that. Just exactly what gets classified as a weed and what gets called a plant or a flower, we’ve never really been able to figure out. But chances are if nobody likes how it looks or smells, or if it grows in the midst of your perfectly, undifferentiated, green lawn, then it’s called a weed.
Many weeds can cause allergic reactions in people, or are just plain annoying, and the same goes for cats and dogs. Here are a few of the most troublesome types of weed for pets and pet owners:

  • Hedge parsley produces a fruit with tiny spines all over them that will stick to any passing pets and follow them home. This is a good way for the weed to propagate itself, but a bad use of your leisure time – spent picking these annoying burs out of your pet’s fur.
  • California burclover (aka burr medic) sounds pretty nasty, and for cats and dogs, it is. If you have this weed growing around your home, your pets will be tracking its little, barbed burrs into the house. Not much fun for anyone. Pull them!
  • Foxtails are probably the worst of the lot. Take the above two weeds and multiply the annoying factor by about ten, and you’ve got foxtails. Everyone knows these little devils – pull them, burn them, use a pet-safe weed killer, just keep them away from your pets and you’ll be happier.

Medications to alleviate allergies in your pets can be purchased from your vet. And if things grow particularly difficult for them in this department, you can also explore the possibility of periodic allergy injections.
Spring time should be a release of pent-up energy and joy for you and your pets. Don’t let a few straggling weeds put a damper on things.

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