Health officials are warning dog owners that 2019 has seen a rise in cheatgrass, a type of weed that has been known to cause health problems in dogs, particularly shorter-legged breeds.

Cheatgrass, not to be confused with Foxtails,has stems that can grow up to 30 inches in height, which poses an increased threat to dogs that stand closer to the ground. It often gets stuck in the paws, ears and throats of dogs. Removal of the seeds and flowers can be tricky, and often require an animal to be sedated, or even worse, operated on.

Coming from someone who owns a bulldog, and has spent at least $1,000 in the past nine years on treatment for this very issue, I can offer this advice: do not let your dog roam freely in areas where there is an abundance of it.