Ah, that pesky pollen! Many hayfever sufferers know very well the eye-itching and nose-blocking struggle each spring and summer. But what about our best canine pals?
Expert vet Dr Scott Miller shares his need-to-knows about how seasonal allergies affect dogs. Learn how to tell if your pup is sensitive to pollen and what you can do to ease their symptoms.
Dogs share many of the conditions that we humans do. And that includes – you guessed it – hayfever and environmental allergies.
Dogs often show signs of pollen allergies during their early years but can develop hayfever at any point in their life.
So it’s important to keep an eye on your pooch when the warmer months come around and they’re spending more time outside.
While any dog can get hayfever, certain pedigree breeds can be more prone due to their face shape, coat type, or genetic sensitivity.
Dogs can indeed be affected by one or a combination of tree, grass, and weed pollen. These pollen spores float through the air and are absorbed into your pup’s bloodstream through their skin and nose. Pollen on the ground, plants, and other surfaces can also be picked up on your dog’s fur.
Here’s when different types of pollen peak during the year and can affect your dog’s allergies:
Hayfever symptoms can vary depending on the pollen type and your individual dog’s reaction.
Common symptoms include:
So pay close attention to your dog for signs they are:
Let’s be honest, you’re not going to be putting your dog in a hazmat suit or shutting them away during the summer months!
So instead, here’s some ways to help manage your pooch’s hayfever:
It can be tricky to figure out if your dog has hayfever as they may be reacting to other allergies like food and dust. Some canine hayfever symptoms are also very similar to conditions like dermatitis.
To help suss out if pollen is the culprit, your vet can:
The good news is there’s a number of different options to help your dog’s hayfever. Your vet will recommend one or a combination of treatments for your pup’s individual needs.
This can include:
Dogs can be given hayfever tablets but only under the strict guidance of a vet. This is because it can be tricky to get the right dosage and hayfever tablets can also be toxic to some canines.
And although rare, there is the possibility of side effects like:
Always speak to your vet before trying any home remedies for your pup’s hayfever symptoms.
They could be unsafe for your dog, give them a bad reaction, or make any medications prescribed by your vet less effective.
Giving your pup’s fur a gentle wipe down after walks with a damp towel or cloth can help to remove any pollen. Remember to focus on areas like the face and paws as this is where tiny spores can get trapped.
Sadly there’s no cure for hayfever, but this won’t stop your dog from living a happy and healthy life.
It’s all about managing their symptoms and their environment as much as possible to ease the effects of pollen.
Always speak to your vet if you’re worried your dog’s hayfever symptoms are getting worse.
Research has shown that introducing puppies to different types of pollen early on can help build up a resistance to hayfever symptoms.
But just like humans, there’s a chance your dog can develop allergies at any point during their life.
So keep an eye on them and speak to your vet if you notice any unusual symptoms or changes in their behaviour.
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