Top tips for caring for a dog with hay fever

We all know that the summer months can be difficult for those that suffer from hay fever – as soon as the sun comes out, so do the tissues. However, many owners don’t realise that dogs can also suffer from allergies to pollen. But what is it exactly that triggers our lovable dogs to sneeze, and how can we help to relieve the symptoms?

Richard Setterwall, General Manager at dog walking and sitting service Rover.com, says: 

“We all love to escape to the great outdoors, but hay fever can often spoil a good walk for both us and our pets. 

“As our dogs love to sniff and explore outside, it’s important we do everything we can to keep them protected whilst they play – these home remedies offer owners a clever and safe way to help soothe their dog’s allergies during the spring and summer months.”

Signs your dog suffers from hay fever:

  • Scratching and licking more than usual or sometimes excessive biting
  • Irritated and itchy eyes, often also red or teary
  • Runny nose
  • A rash or sores on their skin
  • Shaking their heads or ears
  • Smelly ears
  • Excessive whining or complaining
  • Sneezing

First and foremost, it’s important to check in with your local vet if you spot any of the above symptoms. Once you’ve established that it is hay fever, there are lots of quick tricks to help relieve your pet’s irritation.

Help keep your dog’s paws free of pollen

Giving your dog’s paws a quick clean after they’ve been out playing can work wonders. By using a wet towel or a wet wipe to cleanse their paws, you can help stop the itch-causing pollen spreading around their hair and skin.

Time your walks well

Pollen counts are generally lower early in the morning and late in the evening, so if you’ve noticed that your dog’s allergies have sparked and they’re really suffering, then try to limit their walks and outdoor activity to those times of the day.

dog with hay fever

A cold and salty bath works a treat

Salt is a great natural disinfectant and can soothe your dog’s irritated skin – but do make sure to give them a rinse afterwards, to eliminate any risk of your dog licking their salty paws and causing themselves an upset tummy. 

It’s also a good idea to get into the habit of regularly washing and grooming your dog’s coat during times of the year when pollen counts are higher. Grooming will help to remove pollen from their skin, even if you can’t see it. 

Similarly, frequently washing your dog’s bed should also keep the pollen at bay.

Keeping the grass cut short is key

It’s a good idea to keep the grass short during the summer, that way when your pup is running free through the garden you can limit their exposure to natural allergens. 

Add honey to your dog’s food and baths

Just like with humans, it is important to try and build up a natural resistance to local pollen and an easy way to do this is by adding honey to their food or baths. Only allow very small doses (a couple of teaspoons at most) in meals and soon they will start to build up a solid resistance. Honey can also be an effective remedy for skin irritation – a great tip is to add a small dosage to a shampoo formula.

Get regular check-ups with the vet

Home remedies are great for calming your dog and soothing any surface irritations. However, your vet may also be able to prescribe eye drops or nasal sprays to alleviate any discomfort.

So, if you want to help ease your dog’s pollen-induced sneezing, why not try these quick-fire tips – whether sweetening their baths with a dollop of honey or giving the garden a helpful haircut, your dog’s hay fever will soon be taken care off.

Rover.com is a dog walking and boarding service, bringing dog owners and trusted sitters together. For more information or to sign up either as a walker, sitter or owner, please visit: https://www.rover.com/uk/or https://www.facebook.com/RoverDotComUK

About Rover.com

Rover.com® is the world’s largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers. Rover connects dog owners with trusted dog sitters whenever they need it. Millions of services have been booked on Rover, including pet sitting, dog walking, in-home dog boarding, and doggy day care.

Rover believes everyone should have the opportunity to experience the unconditional love of a dog; Rover improves and simplifies life for dog people and the pets they love. As The Dog PeopleTM, Rover gives pet parents peace of mind whenever they’re away from their dogs by offering the Rover Guarantee, 24/7 support, and GPS walk tracking.