Keep Off The Grass!!

Keep Off Grass

Lethargic PetHave you noticed any changes in your pet’s behavior this summer? Perhaps they are a bit more agitated, maybe they’re lethargic all of a sudden, they’ve made grass eating a habit, diarrhea is happening more often than not, and/or they just won’t stop licking those darn paws. Nutritional components and internal allergies aside, your pet could be having reactions to those pesky pesticides being used on the grass! If your pet is suddenly out of sorts and not acting him or herself, it’s very likely that something has been ingested that shouldn’t have been.

Everyone has had it happen. You’re walking your dog, trying to maintain a heel but of course Fido needs to go smell that one tree (you know that tree, the one where all the cool dogs pee), and by the time he’s hiking his leg to leave a friendly hello, you notice the dreaded sign saying “pesticide application, keep off grass”. Well thanks for that warning, you think to yourself, because by this time it’s far too late. You continue your walk and tell yourself to wipe down Fido’s feet when you get home when of course he sees a squirrel and absolutely must chase it. Now your mind is racing as are your feet since you’re being pulled practically up a tree. At this point you’ve forgotten all about the pesticides on your dog’s feet and are instead thinking of what snack you and Fido should have when you get home. Don’t worry; you are not the only one.

How Environment Impacts HealthWhen summer rolls around it seems that almost every lawn is getting treated on a different day and suddenly no grass is safe. In all reality it’s fairly true, though there are ways to help manage this problem. When you get home from every walk be sure to wipe down your pets feet thoroughly. In addition, you should have a set pair of walking shoes that you use and leave them in the garage or in an area that isn’t coming into contact with the entirety of your house. You walking around in shoes covered in pesticides will defeat the purpose of cleaning off your pet in the first place. If you make a habit of this, the likelihood of any symptoms showing up afterwards is lower and you will have a happier and healthier pet!

What if it’s too late and you know your pet has gotten into some things he shouldn’t have? Again, this isn’t uncommon so as long as you are prepared for what’s coming, nothing will be a surprise. Diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargy are all very common symptoms. Eating grass to help settle the stomach and/or a loss of appetite are also natural reactions. All of these symptoms should be short-lived, and after about 24-36 hours should no longer be present. Think of it like the 24-hour flu. It gets in, gets out, and gets on with it. Unless your pet is being exposed daily to these pesticides, everything should clear up relatively quickly.

Animal Diarrhea, vomiting, and lethargyNow should you immediately rush to the vet or change the diet at the first sign of symptoms? If it were my dog, the answer would be no. I like to let things run their course to an extent, and if symptoms were still showing up in a few days then I’d consider making a doctor appointment. Anything sooner than that, however, is just part of being a dog. Now get up and go on a walk, just be wary and ready for all those environmental toxins to decide your pet’s feet is the perfect place to reside!

Photo Credit:
Eco-Goats via photopin (license)
Preventing disease through healthy environments via photopin (license)
Sidewalk Garden, Capitol Hill East via photopin (license)
Eco-Goats via photopin (license)
Flowers Spring & Bees via photopin (license)

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