Your itchy dog may be trying to tell you something unexpected.
Your itchy dog may be trying to tell you something unexpected. In this dog hay fever guide, you can learn the signs of canine hay fever, then check out our top tips to help scratching dogs beat the allergic itch.
Long summer days spell picnics in the pack, sandwiches ripe for the stealing and epic games of fetch. Summer’s heaven for dogs… or is it?
Though the possibilities for snack theft may go up with the mercury, summer isn’t necessarily great news for all dogs. That’s because many suffer from hay fever – just like us humans do.
Got a scratching dog? It might not be fleas…
- Does your dog scratch or bite their body?
- Have they started to lick, nibble or bite at their paws?
- Do they rub their face on the furniture or the floor, or ask for face scratches?
If your dog has any of these symptoms, it’s likely that they suffer from a pollen allergy – essentially, doggy hay fever.
So how does hay fever affect dogs, and how can we help dogs who’re suffering?
Canine hay fever explained
Dog pollen allergies start in exactly the same way human hay fever does… when your dog ingests the tiny pollen granules released by plants. The difference is how our bodies respond.
Us humans tend to get a runny nose, watery eyes and start sneezing – and if you suffer (or know a sufferer) you know just how miserable a bad reaction can be. But your furry friend endures an arguably worse fate: all-over-itches.
This is because when a dog has an allergic reaction, the histamines released by the body in response to pollen are released in the skin. And that can make seasonal allergies harder to spot.
When is the doggy hay fever season?
Much like in humans, dog hay fever symptoms begin in April, and can last until late summer. And, unfortunately, it's not just inhaled pollen that can trigger hay fever in dogs.
Pollen coming into contact with your dog’s skin can also trigger the histamine response – so frolicking in a grassy pollen meadow this summer could leave your pet with a persistent itch.
It’s not just grass that triggers a scratching bout. Our canine friends are particularly sensitive to tree pollen – so start keeping an eye out for itching and scratching as soon as spring has sprung.
How to treat dog hay fever
If you think your dog may be hay fever prone, there’s a lot you can do to help. Here are our top ways to beat the seasonal itches…
5 ways to soothe itchy, scratching dogs
- Fight the fleas
Flea allergies can really exacerbate skin problems and should be treated immediately. As well as avoiding infestation in your home, you can help to prevent further skin problems.
- Brush daily
As well as a good brush down every day, remember to carefully comb or cut out matted hair. Any lumps or clumps can hold dirt and debris, which is uncomfortable for your pet – and can cause bacterial dermatitis.
3. After-walkies wipe down
Wipe your dog down with a damp towel after they’ve been out in the grass – this helps to remove pollen trapped in their coat.
- Pamper and bathe
Bathe with a shampoo designed to sooth irritated skin. But remember not too bathe too frequently – you don’t want to dry out your dog’s skin.
- Boost their natural defences
One of the simplest ways to guard against the irritating symptoms of hay fever and other skin conditions is to make sure your pet’s natural skin defences are in tip-top condition with a supplement like YUMEGA Itchy Dog.
Omega oils boost the skin barrier
The Omega 6 and 3 oils contained in YUMEGA Itchy Dog aid dog's’ skin health by increasing essential fatty acids that can be lacking in their diet. These fatty acids help to replenish your dog's skin barrier. And that’s good news, because a strong barrier reduces the likelihood of allergens entering their system. And that, in turn, discourages itching and inflammation.