Posted on June 10, 2019

Can Dogs Get Hay Fever?

Allergy to pollenDo dogs get hayfever? While many of us are all too familiar with the dreaded itchy eyes and runny nose that is hay fever, did you know that hay fever in dogs can also occur? Our precious pooches are just as susceptible to hay fever as we are, so if you are a dog owner, it’s important to make sure that you’re prepared to deal with it – just in case.

Can Dogs Get Hay Fever?

In short, yes. However, the symptoms of hay fever present differently in dogs and humans, so it may not be immediately noticeable that your pooch is actually suffering from airborne allergens when the weather warms up.

What are the Symptoms of Hay Fever in Dogs?

As with humans, different dogs will present different symptoms. However, hay fever in dogs is typically characterised by one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Itching – this is the most common symptom, and, in dogs, the itchiest areas tend to be the paws, armpits, and groin
  • Skin Complaints – areas of reddened, thickened, or greasy skin. This may be due to excessive scratching as opposed to being an actual symptom of the hay fever itself
  • Discoloured Paws – rust-coloured paws, caused by staining from excessively licking the pads, is another common symptom of hay fever in dogs

One similarity between hay fever in dogs and humans is the seasonality factor. When the weather is warmer and there are more pollen and allergens in the air, symptoms will be worse and you may notice that your dog is uncharacteristically grumpy as a result of the increased itchiness.

How to Diagnose Hay Fever in Dogs

Of course, it’s also important to note that while the above are all symptoms of hay fever, they could also be caused by other things like parasites or bacterial infections. As a result, it’s important to make sure that these other causes are ruled out to ensure the right treatment can be chosen.

It can be tricky to diagnose hay fever in dogs, but your vet will be best placed to offer assistance. Allergy tests, blood tests and skin biopsies can all be used to help diagnose hay fever, but as always, your vet will be able to determine the best course of action based on the individual circumstances.

How to Treat Hay Fever in Dogs

Again, the best treatment will depend on your dog and the severity of their condition. Some common treatments include regular bathing to remove allergens from the skin and fur, providing antihistamines or antibiotics, or vaccinations to help boost the dog’s immune system. Lastly, a very simple but effective way to treat your dog’s hay fever is to keep them indoors as much as possible to reduce their exposure to the allergen.

Allergies in dogs are actually more common than you may initially think. If you start to suspect that your four-legged friend may be suffering from an allergy, it’s always best to ask your vet and get your pooch professionally checked out.

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