Dogs can suffer with hay fever at this time of year, just like humans can - and it can certainly affect their enjoyment of the outdoors during the summer months.

So how can you tell if your dog does have hay fever? And what’s the best way to manage their symptoms so they can have fun and enjoy the outdoors?

Signs of Hay Fever in Dogs

If your dog does have a pollen allergy the chances are they’ll experience the same symptoms that you would. These can include:

  • Runny nose
  • Sore eyes
  • Itchy skin
  • Sneezing frequently
  • Skin rashes

However, dogs are most likely to experience itchy, irritated skin causing them to which causes them to scratch, lick, and chew excessively. They may not show any other signs of an allergic reaction.

What Causes Hay Fever in Dogs?

Hay fever in people and in animals is a seasonal allergy to pollen from trees, grass and weeds. The specific types of pollen can vary by region and season, with some pollen counts higher than others at certain times of year.

Pollen allergies in dogs can also be part of a more general allergic condition called Atopic Dermatitis. If you notice any allergic reactions your first port of call should always be your vet.

How Can You Help Your Dog With Hay Fever?

  • Avoid Contact with Pollen

The most obvious thing you can do is to reduce your dog’s contact with pollen! Keep an eye on pollen counts and try to take them out when counts are low. Try your best to plan walking routes that avoid very green areas. You can also keep a diary of when your dog’s symptoms are at their worst and try to identify the specific plants that are causing the reaction.

To help remove pollen and other allergens from your dog's fur make sure you groom them regularly. Bathing their feet after a walk can also help.

Keeping the grass short in your own garden will also help, along with washing your dog’s bedding frequently.

  • Support Your Dog’s Immune Response

Your vet may advise giving your dog antihistamines to provide your dog some relief. Some over the counter remedies like Piriton can be suitable for dogs but you should always check with your vet first and get their advice on the right dosage for your dog. There are also some topical treatments that can help with allergy symptoms, including shampoos, sprays, and lotions with prescription strength.

Your vet may also advise short-term use of steroids to relieve symptoms in extreme cases when alternative treatments have failed. Due to potential negative effects from prolonged use, steroids should only be administered by a vet.

Nutritional supplements that support the immune system can also help the body’s natural anti-inflammatory response to allergens and irritants.

  • Strengthen the Skin Barrier

Using a high-quality skin and coat oil can also help to support your dog’s comfort and well-being. Look for an oil that provides high levels of Omega 3, vitamin E and the right balance of Omega 6 to support the protective barrier in the skin.

Always Seek Advice from Your Vet

Please note that while this information is based on general knowledge, it is always advisable to consult with your vet for personalised treatment and medical guidance regarding your dog's health.

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June 07, 2023