Springtime... Warm weather, longer evenings, blossoming flowers, clearer skies and unfortunately for some... Allergies! The freshly cut grass sneezes are all too familiar to some of us, but did you know that your pup can suffer from similar reactions too?
As the pollen count rises, your dog can inhale irritants from weeds, flowers, trees, and grass in the garden or on their walks – just like you. However, whilst you might be able to reach for your reliable antihistamines, it’s not as simple for your pooch.
To make matters worse, your furry friend isn’t able to communicate when they’re suffering from allergies so in this blog we’re looking at how you can tell when your pooch is struggling to fight the pollen and the 6 things you can do to help alleviate any symptoms they may be suffering with.
The symptoms of canine allergies are very similar to humans. When your dog comes into contact with an outdoor allergen like pollen, their immune system identifies it as a threat that alerts the body to begin its defence mechanisms. These might appear as;
In severe cases, you might also see rashes appear and your dog might experience hair loss from biting at the skin.
If you see any of the above symptoms, it’s time to help your dog out.
To help alleviate any itching as quickly as possible, bathing your dog is the most efficient thing to do. You can bathe your dog 1-3 times a week during allergy season, but be careful not to over-wash them as this can dry out their skin and cause them to itch for a different reason.
In between washes, try rubbing them down with a wet towel to get any pollen out of their fur and rinse off their paws every time they come in from outside.
Wherever your dog sleeps or chills out, make sure the linen is washed regularly to prevent pollen or other irritants from building up as allergens can live in the fibres.
You should wash dog bedding once a week, and any carpets/rugs you should try to hover often. There are some great vacuum cleaners with inbuilt allergy filters that are specifically designed to eliminate irritants from your home. It might be worth checking them out.
Allergy reactions are triggered by the immune system. If your dog does suffer, their immune system is going to need all the support it can get as it starts to work overtime during the allergen season. Keep their diet healthy and balanced and their weight normal to help give their immune system the best fighting chance at defeating their allergies. You could consider supplementing their diet with doggy multivitamins or probiotics!
Omega 3 helps alleviate the body’s inflammatory response so it can help your dog’s body fight off inflammation and itchiness, both of which can be symptoms of allergies. Omega 3 has multiple other benefits too like its ability to promote joint and cardiovascular health and rejuvenate your pooch’s fur. You can find Omega 3 in fish oil, so treat your dog to some oily fish or apply a dose of 100% salmon oil to their meal.
Most weather websites will display a pollen count. Check it every day, and if the pollen count is super high, it might be worth considering keeping your dog inside depending on how bad their allergy reactions are. Research to see if there are any indoor dog tracks or dog swimming pools in your local area or get playful with their toys and interact and exercise with them in the house.
If you rely on an air conditioner throughout Spring and Summer, make sure you’re changing your filter regularly to reduce the number of airborne allergens your pup is breathing in whilst inside.
You could also consider investing in a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter too if your dog really suffers. They are designed to remove up to 99 per cent of airborne particles from the home’s air. Placing one of these in your dog’s main hang out room can help keep that air permanently free from irritating springtime substances.
Allergies aren’t pleasant for anybody and it can be distressing to see your beloved four-legged friend battling theirs. The above tips should be able to help alleviate some of their symptoms. If you’re really concerned about your dog’s allergy reactions, particularly if they’re very severe, book them in to see their vet for an allergy test to determine the exact cause and make a plan of action. By taking a proactive approach to the allergy season, you can both enjoy springtime together with less allergen disruption.