Do Dogs Get Hay Fever?

The answer is yes! As many as 10% of all dogs in the UK are thought to suffer from hay fever to some degree, for some dogs it may just be the odd sneezy spell or the sniffles, for some dogs, hay fever can be a bigger problem.

Hay fever is known by the technical term “allergic rhinitis,” and as the name suggests, it is an allergenic condition. Hay fever’s allergenic triggers can include;

  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Grass

A dog that is allergic to one of these compounds will display a sensitivity reaction of the immune system when they come into contact with a trigger, which leads to the body producing antibodies to fight off the problem, causing the side effects of the condition that can make your dog miserable and uncomfortable.

Symptoms of hay fever in dogs

The exact symptoms that any dog will display and how severe they are will vary on a case by case basis, but the most common indications of the condition include: –

  • Sneezing, often repeatedly
  • A runny nose
  • Red, runny and itchy eyes
  • Pruritus (itching) all over the body
  • Rash on the face and paws
  • Hair loss and/or sore patches

Hay fever is a seasonal condition, which is rarely seen in the winter, but can affect dogs in spring, summer and early autumn. If your dog’s reactions and discomfort seem to follow the patterns of the rising pollen count.

There is no way to cure hay fever and stop your dog from suffering from the problem permanently, however, there are some steps that you can take to make life easier for them, such as:-

  • Consulting with your vet – who may prescribe an antihistamine to your dog to make them more comfortable, anti-allergenic injections may be needed too
  • Wiping your dog’s coat off when they come in from a walk
  • Clipping your dog’s coat if their fur is thick or long
  • Avoiding areas with a lot of plants and cut grass
  • Walking your dog early in the morning or in the evening when the pollen count is lower
  • Bathing your dog’s skin regularly to remove pollen
  • Washing your dog’s bedding and any soft furnishings on a weekly basis to remove pollen