Did you know?

Dogs can suffer from pollen allergies just like people can? Seasonal allergies in dogs occur when they inhale or come in contact with something they're sensitive to. As in people, allergies in dogs happen when the immune system becomes less tolerant of an allergen. After that, any time the immune system encounters that allergen in the environment, it goes haywire with an inflammatory response.

These reactions can be brought on by seasonal factors, meaning they are only present at certain times of year. For example, tree and grass pollen, dust and dust mites, mould and mould mites, flea bites and fresh grass in autumn or summer. The signs, however, can be a little bit different in dogs. In people, you might expect sore eyes, a runny nose, and shortness of breath. However, in dogs, signs of a pollen allergy might include:

- Licking or biting their paws
- Lots of scratching
- Red and sore looking skin, especially around eyes, ears and
between paws or on their stomach
- Shaking their head
- Rubbing their ears or muzzle
- Tired or lethargic, particularly on days when the pollen count is high

How are allergies diagnosed in dogs?

Your vet can determine if your dog is experiencing seasonal allergies or something else based on their medical history, a physical exam, laboratory tests, and their response to therapy. Another accurate method is to take your dog to a dermatologist for skin testing. Furthermore, many pets have allergies to more than one thing, which means your vet might also advise you try a food-elimination trial. This will help to find out if they could be sensitive to anything in their diet, as opposed to pollen or other external factors. Please speak to your vet as they can give you specific advice and support on how to do this.

6 easy things you can do to help your dog:

1) Check the pollen forecast each day
2)If possible, plan walks before dawn, later afternoon, or early evening, as pollen counts will be lower at these times
3) keep your dog on a lead near grass
4) wipe their fur, paws, and muzzle after every walk
5) ensure you regularly groom your dog
6) Finally, bathe them weekly in hypoallergenic pet shampoo from the vet

Your pet may also require medication prescribed by the vet, and antihistamines might also be an option. Nutrition also plays a role, and certain foods are formulated to help keep allergies at bay. Again, please consult your vet for dietary advice relating to your pet’s allergies.

Being vigilant and looking out for any potential symptoms will help keep your pet safe through the summer, meaning you can go back to enjoying some quality time with your pup!

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