Pets and pollen

Many pets suffer in the summer from pollen, just like their human companions.  This can bring itchy eyes, paws, skin, sneezing etc., resulting in distress and suffering for those that have hay fever.

Does your dog suffer from pollen allergy?

The causes of pollen allergies in dogs is the same as t is in humans.  However, unlike humans, they don’t get runny noses and watery eyes.  The symptoms our pets get are different and can be displayed as follows.

  • Paw Biting and Licking.
  • Excessive scratching.
  • Sore skin between the paws and around the eyes and nose.
  • Head shaking.
  • Rubbing their ears, eyes and nose.
  • Being very lethargic, especially when the pollen count is high

Whilst there is a hood chance these symptoms are most likely to be related to pollen allergy, especially in the summer, it is advisable to see a vet.  Please be advised that these could also be signs of other problems. It is a good idea to get your vet t to rule these out before treating your pet for allergies.

Some allergies are hard to identify.

Treating pets that are allergic to pollens

The biggest problem is finding out what allergies your pet is suffering from, as some may suffer multiple allergies.  One thing that your vet might try is a food-elimination trial the same as humans. For example, we eventually worked out that Roxy is allergic to grains and some E numbers. As a result, we have to make sure it is good quality grain-free food.  Roxy also has an intolerance to Tap Water, although filter tap water is fine.

What is causing your pet’s allergies?

There is a chance that you may be able to work out which plants and what kind of pollen is causing your problems.  If this is the case, then in some cases, you can avoid them so that your dog is happier.  It might be your dog is allergic to tree pollen, so the best thing to do is avoid any wooded areas whilst the tree pollen is high.

If you can work out when your dog is affected the most, then this can help as it may link to pollen that is high at that time of the year.  Roxy is worst around March and April when tree pollen is out.

  • Tree Pollen is at its highest between March and April.
  • May has grass pollen.
  • June and July are the worst months as this has grass pollen and flowing weeds.
  • August also has pollen from flowing weds.

Please keep in mind that this is just an approximate guide and can vary from area to area.

Enjoying the great outdoors and dog walks with an allergic dog.

Naturally, you cant wrap your dog in cotton wool and hide indoors for months on end if the pollen count is high – after all, dogs still need mental and physical exercise, although you can up the mental exercise you do at home.

  • The first thing to do is to check the pollen count every day so you can plan
  • If you know what pollen your dog is affected by the most, then try and avoid them if possible.  For example, if it is tree pollen, then avoid wooded areas.
  • As with most summer walks, the best thing to do is walk early in the morning, late afternoon, and after sunset, as not only will it be cooler for your dog, but the pollen count is often lower.
  • When walking in a grass area, try and keep the dog under control and on a lead.  Dogs love to roll in the grass, and if your dog has grass allergies, then can cause days of itchiness and misery from all the grass seeds and pollen now in the fur.
  • As in the winter, when getting rod of rock salt, it is a good idea to wipe paws after every walk and ybe just dipping them in water to help remove the pollen etc., picked up on their walk.
  • It is important to brush your dogs’ coats every day as it can help remove the pollen that is their fur.  Talk to a groomer about the best way to trim coats. Keep up with the grooming. A good daily brushing might help to remove any pollen that is clinging to their fur.
  • Keep bedding clean by frequent washing – maybe once a week.  Daily vacuuming of your dogs’ bed can help remove dust mites and pollen, and washing once a week will help keep the pollen down.
  • Talk to someone like Dorwest Herbs and some supplements to your pet food.  These can make a huge difference and certainly did with Roxy.

Why not read our article on walking your dog in the spring  or why do dogs eat grass

As with all health problems, if in no doubt, ask the vet.