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Pulling Weeds to Keep Your Dog Healthy!

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This weekend, we’ve been pulling weeds in our yard, specifically a plant that produces little stickers that are called (at least here) Beggar’s Lice. These seedpods, while they’re not as painful like many stickers, are very difficult to get out of a dog’s coat and are uncomfortable if they work their way between paw pads.

Note that I said we’ve been *pulling* the weeds. We pull them before mowing; if you mow these plants, you’ll disperse the Beggar’s Lice and even more will grow the next season.

And, of course, we don’t use any kind of herbicide on our lawn. Remember, dogs are in contact with the grass and plants for more closely than we are ourselves. Their bodies and faces are much closer to the lawn, and they also lick their paws after contact with the lawn and whatever might be on the lawn. A recent study looked at the use of lawn treatments–herbicide, pesticide, insect growth regulators, fungicide, rodenticide, and fertilizer — on lawns of dogs undergoing treatment. The results, which you can read about in detail in this article in Whole Dog Journal, were pretty alarming:

A study presented in the January 2012 issue of the journal Environmental Research concluded that exposure to professionally applied lawn pesticides was associated with a significantly (70 percent) higher risk of canine malignant lymphoma (CML).

So roll up those sleeves and PULL those weeds! It doesn’t take much time, it’s good exercise, it’s free, and, most especially, it can be important to the health of your dog!