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Foxtails are Foiled in Dogs with Clever Outfox Field Guard

This unique head gear is designed to help protect dogs’ eyes, ears, and noses from foxtail penetration.

by Claudia Kawczynska
August 5, 2021
Dog surrounded by foxtails wearing an OutFox Mask

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Grasses with foxtails like wild barley, cheatgrass, and needlegrass can be found across the country, but the west coast is inundated with them, especially in California. These grasses have hard barbed tips that point backward, making foxtails incredibly dangerous for dogs. What makes them so dangerous is that these barbed tips can become lodged, and their shape allows them to burrow deep within the body. When everything is covered in foxtails, what’s a pet parent to do?

Foxtail Protection for Dogs

The OutFox Field Guard, invented in 2010 by Diane Kostelec, has saved an untold number of dogs from the pain and suffering of foxtails in their noses, ears or eyes, not to mention the emergency vet visits required to remove them. As a Northern California dog person, Kostelec had first-hand experience with these noxious barbed grass seeds, so she set out to make a comfy head guard that would protect dogs from them.

Dogs that wear OutFox Field Guards are often completely unfazed by them; they play and sniff around just as before — they can even drink water normally. Sizing and fit guides are available on the website, along with other helpful tips. (Avoiding foxtails isn’t the only reason you might consider one for your dog; it also prevents the scarfing up of unauthorized items during walks.) If you’re out and about in areas overrun with foxtails, consider gearing your dog up with protection.

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Claudia Kawczynska

Claudia Kawczynska was co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Bark for 20 years. She also edited the best-selling anthology Dog Is My Co-Pilot.