Monday, 23 June 2014

Summer Series Part 4: Does your dog have hay-fever?

Spaniels tail summer series hay fever

In this summer series, so far we have talked about heatstroke, keeping your dogs cool and safety near water.  But as the temperatures increase, something else is on the increase.....pollen.

Now we all know that Hoomans can get hay-fever, and there are a vast array of over the counter remedies to treat it with, but did you know that dogs can also be highly susceptible to hay-fever too?  As many as one in ten dogs can suffer.  

So how can you tell if your doglet is suffering from pollen excess?  It can be difficult to determine the difference between uncomfortableness from the higher temperatures, and hay-fever symptoms, but here is what to look out for:

  • Weeping and / or inflamed red eyes 
  • Runny nose and sneezing 
  • Increased scratching or biting, particularly around the ears, sides, bottom and armpits
  • Recurring ear inflections 
  • Oily or flaky skin
  • Increased licking of paws
  • Shaking head and / or rubbing their face on the floor or furniture 
  • Becoming more sluggish 
  • A rash on their face and feet

The symptoms though on some level can be similar to a Hoomans, generally they are different, due to a dogs allergen receptors being located in their skin, rather than the eyes or nose like you Hoomans, hence the itching. 

If your dog is experiencing these symptoms, obviously it is a good idea to ask your vet to give your dog the once over to rule out anything more serious.  But once hay-fever has been diagnosed, what can you do to help your pet?  The vet may prescribe anti-histamines or steroids, but there are things you can at home to provide some relief.

  • Keep the dog inside during the hottest part of the day - this is when pollen is at it's highest.
  • After the dog has been outside, wipe the paws down with a damp cloth to remove pollen. 
  • After a walk, wipe the whole dog down with a damp towel.
  • Brush regularly to remove grass seeds and pollen from the dogs coat.
  • If you have a fan or air conditioning, use them to keep the dog cool rather than opening windows.
  • Vacuum regularly to remove any allergens from the carpet that may have been brought in from outside
  • Similarly, wash the dogs bedding frequently to reduce allergens.
  • Bath your dog regularly in cool water.  Oatmeal baths can be particularly soothing, or you can buy shampoos particularly for irritated skin.
  • Keep the coat shorter in the summer months
  • Bathing the dogs paws in Epsom salts can be helpful (always wash them off well afterwards - the dog could develop diarrhoea after licking the salts)
  • Omega 3 and 6 supplements, such as Yumega Plus, can be helpful in improving skin health.

I hope if your dog suffers with hay-fever, that there are a few helpful pointers in there.  What else have you found helps ease the symptoms? 


  1. Great informative post! Allergies are the worst.

    1. Thanks Oz! I do hope that readers have enjoyed this series and found it helpful. Hooman has realised it is likely I have hay fever, just from writing it!

  2. Hi Y'all!

    Good info. I have allergies and have to take allergy shots every week. My shots actually are made just for me by a company that usually only makes 'em for humans.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrowndDog

  3. Thanks for the information. I may have to ask the Vet about Katy.

  4. Thanks for joining the hop. Those are excellent tips. I think all my dogs had an issue this spring with pollen because they were all three sneezing. Of course it could have been a bug too. :)