Top tips for caring for a dog with hay fever

Summer months can be difficult for those that suffer from hay fever, but many owners don’t realise that dogs can also suffer from allergies.

Dog walking and sitting app, Rover.com reveal the tell-tale signs that indicate whether your dog is affected by pollen, and how best to treat their allergies.

Richard Setterwell, General Manager at Rover.com, said: “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 that your dog could suffer with hay fever:

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

First and foremost, it’s important to check 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 to 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 to stop the itch-causing pollen spreading around their hair and skin.

Time your walks well – pollen counts are generally lower in the early 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.

A cold and salty bath works a treat – salt is a great natural disinfectant and can soothe your dogs 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 and 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 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’s 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 from 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 of.

Rover.com is a dog walking and boarding service, bringing dog owners and trusted sitters together. For more information you can visit www.rover.com/uk.