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Outfoxing Foxtails
New hood aims to provide protection for field dogs
Could this mesh hood help your dog avoid a life-threatening encounter with grass?

Foxtails are nasty—pure and simple. If you have a meadow-loving dog and live in a region with these barbed grasses, you know what I’m talking about.

Known by different names in different parts of the country, these plants have hard seed-bearing structures with sharp points at one end and microscopic barbs. When they become embedded in a dog’s fur, paws, ears, nostrils or eyes, they work their way one direction—in. Foxtails can wind up virtually anywhere in the body, wreaking havoc. (Check out Protecting Your Dog Against Foxtails by Nancy Kay, DVM.) I’ve heard of dogs enduring repeat surgeries to remove foxtails traced as far as 10 inches, and still not tracking them down.

It’s the sort of thing that could drive a person to keep their dog inside or invent a solution, i.e., the OutFox Field Guard. This sort of a spooky-looking—at least, at first—loose-fitting hood, made of lightweight vinyl mesh, protects those areas that are particularly vulnerable to foxtails. The Field Guard (starting at $38) is attached to a dog’s collar with breakaway straps. According to the manufacturers, dogs can breath easily, still drink water, and grab sticks and balls in their mouths.

My pups haven’t field-tested it, but it sounds pretty ingenious. What do you think?

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Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom. lisawogan.com

Photo courtesy OutFox Field Guard.

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by Ann Scritsmier | March 9 2011 |

Awesome! The inventor is a genius.

Submitted by Dog lover | March 15 2011 |

It is about time someone came up with a foxtail solution. My poor puppy had 5 of them removed last year. General anesthesia each time.

Submitted by Linda St Clair | March 9 2011 |

What a great idea!

Submitted by Jeanne Patrick | March 9 2011 |

It is abou time someone came up with such a necessary product. Thousands of people have had immense vet bills becuase a foxtail got up their dog's nose. I am going to tell all my dog owner friends about this great product !

Submitted by sedna101 | March 9 2011 |

Looks much like the headgear horses wear to keep flies off their faces :-)
HATE those foxtails!!!

Submitted by Greg Long | September 27 2012 |

My invention foxtail dog protector relieves any option of a foxtail in a dog's ear. Check it out. Foxtaildogprotector.com
Greg Long

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