Saturday, 22 October 2016

Grasses as allergens for dogs

When I was at the Diggers Botanic and Rare Plant Fair today (in the freezing rain and wind), I bought a gift for Penny.

It was labelled as Pet Grass. I know Penny likes to eat grass, so I thought it was a good purchase. Here's the label:

(If the label's too hard to read in this photo, you can click on the photo and it will open in another window where it's easier to see.) 

The name is: dactylis glomerata.  

Always keen to collect information about plants, I Googled the name. And found, to my surprise, that the grass is an allergen for many dogs (and humans).

Nelco-Vet, in a brochure called Allergens and Your Pets, under the heading Orchard/Cocksfoot Grass, says: 
the flowering heads are clustered in irregular, rounded shapes, coarse in texture, and resemble a thumb sticking out of the side of someone's hand. Widespread throughout the world, Orchard produces pollen that is well known for its hay fever causing properties in Europe and North America. It starts out in early spring and has tenacious re-growth after being grazed upon. 

Well, that was a waste of four dollars. I thought of tossing it in the green bin for garden waste, but on second thoughts, I'll let it grow in a pot and cut the seedheads off. 


Jessi Lashakmitis said...

Wow, that was a big surprise for you. Good that you google it before it grows in your garden and makes Penny feel sick without knowing the reason!!!!!

parlance said...

Jessi, I saw more pots of this grass at my local plant nursery today, half-priced, so it looks like other people were more aware than I was what a bad bargain it would be.

Patsy said...

It shouldn't be difficult to stop it flowering – Penny will probably do that herself if she likes to munch the grass.

parlance said...

Patsy, let's hope Penny keeps it under control. If I ever get around to taking the pot out of the glasshouse and putting it where Penny can find it!