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Straw: Safe for Bassets? Please advise

1771 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  biscuit
Hi Everyone,

Our fenced in backyard is bare in many places, and we are afraid when winter comes, that will result in lots of mud. :( My husband wants to lay grass seed down and put straw over top of it so that it will grow. Does anyone know if :

1. Bassets will eat the straw (Yes, I kinda already know the answer to that one!) ;)

2. Will it hurt them?

It should disintegrate in a short time, but before we do this, we thought that we would ask if anyone had ever had to do this before.

Thanks in advance for any info. :)

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It sort of depends on the basset in question. George is only interested in actual edibles so straw wouldn't tempt him at all and I'd feel confident about putting it down in our yard. If yours are less, um, discerning :D, it might not be a good idea. Unless you can keep them out of it?
Be careful to choose straw that does not contain seed heads (foxtails). These can stick in a dog and work their way in, causing serious problems. Oat straw will often have lots of them. Wheat straw might be better......
I wouldn't have straw anywhere near my dogs. I know of several breeders whose dogs had eye problems related to damage done by the straw. It's hard, it's sharp and can easily scratch the cornea.
Them eating it and getting it stuck in their throats and stomachs was what I was worried about. The eye problem is a good point. Glad I asked. We have decided to just use the fallen leaves that we raked up from other areas of the yard as a ground cover for the grass seed. Imagine that: throwing down leaves on the ground after you have raked them up! Only for a basset! :blink: The grass variety we use is a fast grower; it came up beautifully in just one week in our front yard, so hopefully it will work on the back yard.

BTW: Watch your Halloween candy! On Saturday, Elmer stood on the arm of the loveseat in the foyer, streeeetched himself way over to the table and ate about 5-6 Hershey miniatures and Snickers bars throughout the day. I thought that candy dish looked a lot emptier. We caught him because we heard the dish clink on the table, and there he was, with sweet chocolate breath. BUSTED. I didn't think he could reach that far, but where food is concerned --he can surprise me. I called the vet, and he said it wasn't enough to hurt him. It would have to be the really dark pure chocolate to give him more than the runs, which Thank Goodness he didn't get. He ate them wrappers and all! What a sneak!

I have now placed the dish far away where he can reach. (I should hide them from myself as well! :blink: )
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We just dug up the back 1/3 of our tiny backyard and put grass seed with straw. José didnt bother the straw at all. Could be that he is 5 and finally able to be trusted not to destroy everything...

My husband is beside himself that the grass he worked so hard to plant has a trail along the sides and has spots that have been selected as bone burial spots. (If he could only see José using his nose to bury his nasty outside bone with what amounts to dirt, seed & straw... he would have a fit!) In my opinion, the grass went from 0% to 85% and that isnt too shabby! This spring we can fill in the José spots. That's what you get when you have a basset!
Be careful to choose straw that does not contain seed heads (foxtails). These can stick in a dog and work their way in, causing serious problems. Oat straw will often have lots of them. Wheat straw might be better......

I double and triple this. Cletus had foxtails in three of his paws (in all of the webbing) and two in his chest. NOT a pretty sight. He had to go to the vet 5 times and go under the knife each time. But I noticed you are on the East coast. Foxtails are not as prominent out east, but they are still there.....lurking. Check out this website for a lot of info on foxtails........
i have straw everywhere here, but have never heard of (or had) the kinds of problems Barbara mentions.

i think it might depend on the straw, too, and where you're putting it.

the straw i've been using is very soft and breaks down pretty quickly --- don't know the composition.

*but* i've noticed the straw they sell at the grocery stores and similar IS very, very hard and stiff. i definitely wouldn't use it for any reason.

i have it in areas which have been dug up for different reasons or just never had any grass, and in all my garden beds. one area is very large. it was dug up for new septic last year, and ended up just a mess --- very uneven and rocky. i put straw down over the entire area maybe a year and a half ago? and it's almost all grass now. same with a few other smaller areas.

the biggest danger i've seen is that snakes just love it. ! i had a record crop of rat snakes this year because they kept having their little snake babies in the straw. !!! if you have poisonous snakes in your area, that might be a reason not to do it.

people have told me they've used hay to seed their lawns --- but that might mean foxtails, but might not, depending on the hay. one neighbor bought a huge round bale of bermuda hay and put it down, and now has a lovely bermuda lawn. hay is much softer, in my experience, so maybe that's an option? you can also get smaller bales of it. from what i've been told, the cost is much, much less than seed and it works just as well.
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