Hay fever is the one thing that can really slam the brakes on our plans, making us regret our enthusiasm for summer.
With the warmer months upon us, hayfever season is in full swing once again, and by now we’ve got used to spotting the signs and learnt ways to help manage the high pollen counts.
But what about our loyal canine companions?
If you’ve noticed your dog is suffering just as much as yourself, if not more, on heavy pollen days, could it be hayfever?
Here’s what we know about dogs getting hayfever – how to spot it and what you can do…
Can dogs get hay fever?
Sadly, yes, dogs can suffer from the affliction too.
Known as atopic dermatitis, or atopy, hay fever in dogs is mostly seasonal, like with humans.
Dogs who have canine atopy essentially have a lower tolerance to allergens like pollen, and it typically gets worse during summer and spring.
How to spot hay fever in your dog
When it comes to spotting and treating hay fever in your dog, there are some key signs to look out for.
If your dog is sneezing when outside and particularly at this time of year – and it comes with these other symptoms – it’s likely canine atopy.
Other symptoms might include:
- Persistent scratching
- Recurrent ear infections
- Red or inflamed skin
- Itchy feet
- Hair loss and greasy patches of skin in their armpit or belly areas
There are plenty of other reasons your dog might be sneezing, though.
These include the following:
- Something stuck up their nose
- Nasal tumours (don’t worry, these are fairly common in dogs but will need looking at by a vet)
- A respiratory infection
- A tooth infection
- Nasal mites
- Other irritants like smoke or perfume
- Some dogs even sneeze when they’re excited, so if it’s right after you say ‘walkies’ or ‘dinner’ this might be why
The experts at Tails.com previously told metro.co.uk: ‘If these symptoms persist and your dog’s skin is broken down from scratching too much, they may also suffer bacterial or yeast skin infections.
‘There may be the odd runny nose or eyes, but if your dog keeps sneezing, that’s not hay fever.
‘Sneezing could instead be indicative of a different irritation, like dust, or something being stuck in the nose or throat.’
The symptoms of canine atopy tend to develop when your dog is between one and three years old, but can start at any time.
If you think it might be what your pup has, or if you have any other pet problems, then you should book an appointment with your vet.
How to treat hay fever in dogs
There are plenty of remedies for it, including allergy shots and topical shampoos for skin, and they can also be given oral medication by the vet to relieve symptoms.
The experts at Tails.com recommend bathing or wiping your pooch down when they come back from playing outside to try and get any pollen off.
The animal experts add: ‘If their skin is already irritated, there are medicated shampoos available to help soothe the inflammation.
‘Preventative measures include keeping your dog indoors as much as possible on high pollen count days, even if they really want to go and play.’