Hello, again, Wonderful Pet Parents!
It’s been a while since I last took over the blog, but this week, I decided to step away from my customer service desk to write this post all about hay fever in dogs!
I know, you’re probably thinking ‘hay fever in dogs? Does that even happen?’ I know that those were my first thoughts many years ago when the vet informed me that my dog, Rambo, actually suffering from hay fever. They also revealed that it’s actually more common in dogs than you’d think.
So, as the pollen season approaches, I’d thought it would be handy to write this post about hay fever in dogs, the signs, the symptoms and how to help ease our pets irritation too.
Hay Fever and Rambo
For those of you who don’t know, Rambo is my tiny little eleven-year-old Jack Russell Terrier. Yes, I was surprised too that you could get miniature Jack Russells, considering how small they already are.
However, despite his small size, Rambo certainly lives up to his name in nature and bark. He’s a tough little guy who’s quite content sleeping on his pillow (unless it’s Winter then he’ll sit by the fire), running after a tennis ball and getting a lot of attention too.
But he suffers from hay fever which often means all he wants is a good scratch to take the itch away and be rubbed down with a cool, wet cloth, too, when it gets really bad.
When we first found out that Rambo was suffering from hay fever, we felt terrible. He was about two at the time, and the pollen count had been recently high. His belly was sore and red, and he was in a lot of discomfort, too, as his eyes were constantly watering, and he couldn’t stop sneezing.
None of us in my household suffer from hay fever so, it was hard to join up the dots, so finally, we took him to the vet.
After sitting in the waiting room for a while, where Rambo certainly made himself heard amongst the other dogs waiting, we were invited in to see the vet.
After talking for a few moments and examining Rambo, our vet revealed that Rambo was suffering from severe hay fever. It isn’t surprising how severe it was, considering he’s only a few inches off from the ground.
However, the vet was able to prescribe us some medication to help alleviate Rambo’s symptoms, and over the years, we’ve been quite good at what works best for him.
Signs and Symptoms Your Dog Might Be Suffering From Hay Fever
I’ve already covered the redness and irritation to the skin; however, for Rambo, this primarily presented itself on his belly, but it can also appear on dogs:
- Ears, Ears, Nose and Mouth
Often the irritation will only occur during pollen season, and did you know that there are three types of pollen that can affect your dog from March till September? So, it’s also good to take note of when these months of irritation particularly take hold of your dog.
For Rambo, he begins in March and usually starts to clear up around July/August, so we know that tree and grass pollen are the root of his hay fever reactions. However, if your dog continues to be irritated after these months, then it could be weed pollen that they’re allergic to.
How to Look After Your Dog
Every dog is different, so maybe some of these tips and tricks won’t work for your dog, but it is a complete trial and error process and one that should be consulted with a vet.
- Talk to your vet about antihistamines and other medicines that you could try to alleviate your dog’s symptoms.
- Try and walk your dog early in the morning or evening. Often this is when the pollen count is a lot lower than during the day, so it is less likely to irritate your dog’s skin.
- If your dog is like Rambo and will happily follow the sun around the house and garden all day, then consider getting a blanket to use outdoors on the grass. This gives your dog something to lie on instead of directly on the grass and reduces the amount of contact your dog has with grass pollen.
- If you mow your lawn or garden, try and do it regularly to keep it short as possible and keep your dog inside while cutting and for an hour or so afterwards.
- Keep a cold, wet flannel or cloth to hand at all time and wipe your dog down on areas they’re most irritated by. With Rambo, this is his tummy, so often he’ll come and prompt us to wipe him with the cloth since he knows it helps.
As we’ve already said, each dog is different, so what works for one might not always work for the other. But if you think your dog might be suffering from hay fever, it’s always worth talking to a vet to find out more information and figure out an action plan for your dog.