Can dogs get hay fever and can you give them antihistamines? Symptoms of pet allergies explained

SUNNY days are finally here but while that's good news for most hay fever sufferers are bracing themselves for a long, stuffy summer.

With the summer months proving the worst for those with allergies, spare a thought for our furry friends.

Can dogs and other pets get hay fever?

Just like humans, dogs can get hay fever too.

According to Pets4Homes, as many as 10 per cent of all dogs in the UK are thought to suffer from it to some degree.

Their website says: “April to September each year can be particularly challenging for dogs that are prone to hay fever, and the condition can affect dogs that live both in the country and in the city, and it is not exclusive to areas that have a lot of green spaces.”

Symptoms range from the odd sneezing fit to being struck down with allergies.

Cats are also just as prone to hay fever as people – but their symptoms are usually slightly different.

Instead of classic cold-like symptoms, felines are more likely to experience skin irritation.

What are dogs allergic to?

What each dog is allergic to varies from pet to pet.

While pollen is considered the main culprit, dogs can also react to dander, dust, grass and other plant matter.

Just like humans, hay fever is seasonal for mutts too.

The most troublesome months are spring, summer, and occasionally the beginning of autumn.

Some dog breeds are more prone to developing hay fever, and regardless of the type it usually begins before three years old, although it can appear at any age.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of hay fever in dogs:

  • Sneezing, often repeatedly
  • A runny nose
  • Red, runny and itchy eyes
  • Pruritus (itching) all over the body
  • A rash on the face and paws
  • Excessive scratching of the skin, which may cause hair loss and/or sore patches
  • Hay fever in dogs will sometimes only manifest as a skin reaction

Pets4homes added: "The absence of sneezing and other symptoms that we normally associate with hay fever in people does not necessarily mean that hay fever is not the cause of the problem for your dog."

Which types of dogs are most likely to suffer?

Dog breeds most likely to contract hay fever:

  • The Cairn terrier
  • The Boston terrier
  • The Irish setter
  • The Dalmatian
  • Poodles of all sizes
  • Schnauzers of all sizes
  • The wire-haired terrier
  • The West Highland terrier

Can you give them antihistamines?

Unfortunately there is no cure for hay fever, but there are steps you can take to ease your dog’s discomfort.

If your dog is unwell and there’s no apparent cause, their symptoms may match those of hay fever and a high pollen count may be the reason.

Consult your vet who may be able to prescribe an antihistamine.

If you have established it is hay fever, try wiping down your dog’s coat when you come in from walks to try and reduce the amount of pollen they bring in.

If they have long fur, try trimming it to reduce the amount of potential allergens which can get caught in it.


Try to walk them in areas which avoid lots of flowers or cut grass, and try walking them early in the morning or late at night when the pollen count is lower.

You can also wash your dog’s bedding to get rid of pollen and give them more baths.

And you may need to get rid of flowers and plants in the house.

    Source: Read Full Article