Written by David Reich — Fact checked by Piet Hellemans, DVM
It may be strange to believe but a dog can suffer from hay fever or pollen allergy. While it is not very common, the condition can affect your dog’s health so it is important to stay informed on the topic.
What to do if your dogs suffer from hay fever:
- Consult a vet
- Try natural remedies such as essential fatty acid supplements
- Adjust your pet’s walking times and try to keep as much pollen out of the house as possible.
Dogs and allergies
If you are suffering from hay fever, also known as pollinosis, you understand the onslaught that comes with hay fever or pollen allergies, such as runny nose and sneezing. What about our dog? Keep reading to find out the symptoms, causes of pollinosis in dogs, and the treatment options available. If your dog is suffering from this kind of fever, then do not worry, for it is a common condition that is treatable.
Can a dog get hay fever?
Like humans, dogs get hay fever. They display the usual signs of hay fever just like humans: sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes. Scientists have not yet found a cure for this disease, but you can control it using topical medications prescribed by the vet.
Some hay fever symptoms include:
- Red and runny nose
- Swollen paws
- Itchy skin
- Irritated, runny eyes
- Scratching or biting their body
When are dogs most susceptible to hay fever?
Dogs are susceptible to hay fever at almost any time of the year. However, according to research, they suffer most between late March and early September. That is because it is warmest during these months. During this period, it is also humid and windy, and thus the dog may encounter the pollen relatively quickly. In addition, dogs love to sniff on plants or trees. Especially in spring when the plants are starting to bloom, so they contain high pollen, and thus the susceptibility level will increase. A key takeaway for you is that fall, spring and summer are usually the time of year when allergic pets get the most discomfort from pollen allergies. Therefore, do not be deceived that hay fever in dogs only occurs when the grass pollen season attains its peak in the summer months.
Most susceptible dog breeds
Not all dogs are highly susceptible to allergic reactions. Here are some breeds which are most susceptible:
- German Shepherds
Tips to help prevent or reduce symptoms
There is currently no cure for dog hay fever. However, you can do several things to both prevent and ease up the symptoms of your pet. Top of the list is to take your dog for walks early in the morning or late in the evening. The pollen count is lowest during evenings and early mornings. Therefore, your dog will be at low risk of inhaling any pollen.
You may also try to keep your dog’s ear clean to prevent irritation. If the dog already has a fever, then get some medicated wipes and clean their ears. That will help ease the itching when the irritation kicks in.
After a walk, you may try to wipe your dog’s skin with a damp cloth to remove any pollen. On the off chance your dog came into contact with some pollen during the walk, it is wise to wipe it off before it proceeds into their body.
Other tips for preventing this fever include:
- Closing your windows during the day to avoid any type of pollen from grass, trees, and plants from entering.
- Reducing the dog’s time in the garden to safeguard them from tree pollen
- Wash your dog’s bedding regularly
- Vacuum the house regularly
- Deworm your pet often to improve their health
What can you give dogs for hay fever?
Top of the list of remedies for hay fever in pups is topical treatments infused with medicated elements. These treatments may include dog skin sprays, creams, and medicated shampoos. While this method may take some time to work, consistency will soon bear results in treating hay fever. Getting your dog medicated ear and eye drops may go a long way in treating canine hay fever. The drops are medicated with elements that will help suppress the allergic reaction and will help with hay fever.
Giving your dog essential fatty acid supplements may also help in treating hay fever. The fatty acid supplements help increase the immune system of your dog, which may go a long way in suppressing the infection.
Medications such as steroids may also help with hay fever. The steroids will help reduce the immune reaction, and thus, your dog will exhibit fewer of these symptoms.
Say hello to NatuPet
Products specifically designed so that cats and dogs too can benefit from CBD. Because feeling good isn't just for humans.
Depending on the severity of the condition some vets may recommend immunotherapy treatment to help alleviate canine hay fever symptoms.
Can dogs have human antihistamines?
Most pet owners often think the right treatment for hay fever in dogs is giving them human medicine. While vets do not generally recommend this for all dogs, there are some canines that may tolerate antihistamine medication. Nonetheless, you should always discuss this with a licensed vet and only administer medication under their advisement.
Human antihistamines are specially made for human use and not to treat hay fever in dogs. Antihistamines are ordinarily safe but can trigger a drowsy effect in some dogs. Apart from being drowsy, some dogs may become hyperactive as a side effect. Some Antihistamine medications may contain additional ingredients such as decongestants, which are in no way safe for a dog.
The decongestion element may become toxic to your dog and further complicate the canine hay fever. That is why it is always good to read the instructions before administering any tablets to your dog.
In addition, you may want to visit your vet before issuing any antihistamine. The vet may recommend an alternative drug or one with minimal side effects.
Natural remedies to dog hay fever
Apart from pharmaceutical solutions, you may also use some natural remedies to treat hay fever. Some of the most common hay fever natural remedies include:
• Fish oil and turmeric- if your dog suffers from hay fever, consider fish oil and turmeric, they are known for their anti-inflammatory elements. Therefore, treating your dog with these remedies may mask the symptoms of hay fever.
• Aloe Vera- aloe has beneficial components for the skin and will help with scratching. However, ensure that it is in gel form, and you can apply it to the affected regions to improve their health.
• Thyme infusion- this remedy helps slow down the reaction’s progress and soothes the dog’s skin. It is best suited for paws.
• Coconut oil- here is yet another remedy for hay fever. The coconut oil contains antibacterial elements that suppress the sensation of itchy skin. It will decrease the allergic response and assist your dog in recovery.
It is effortless to manage and control hay fever to ensure your dog’s health is at an all-time high. However, before proceeding to buy any medication, consult with a vet first.