A guide to seasonal allergies in dogs

Learn how to identify if your pup has seasonal allergies and how to help alleviate the symptoms

Did you know that dogs can get seasonal allergies just like we do? Seasonal allergies in dogs usually show up as irritated skin, but there are other telltale signs to watch for. And don’t worry, they can be easily treated if you know what you’re looking for. 

What causes seasonal allergies?

Seasonal allergies in dogs happen when they inhale something or come into contact with something in the environment they are sensitive to. Essentially when the immune system encounters any allergen in the environment, it sets off an alarm in your dog’s body which then can cause a number of symptoms to occur.

Tito laying in his new backyard 

Signs and symptoms

  • Itchiness, flaky skin, scratching, red skin, fur loss
  • Red, watery, or swollen eyes
  • Runny nose, swollen muzzle, coughing
  • Chewing, excessive licking
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Chronic ear infections

Seasonal allergies can also lead to secondary infections, especially if your dog is licking or scratching incessantly. This can lead to cuts or tears in the skin, potentially causing yeast or bacterial infections. And as always, check with your vet if symptoms get worse.

Breeds prone to allergies

Allergies are common in dogs of all ages and breeds. Some dog breeds, however, can inherit allergies. Some of the top breeds more susceptible to allergies include:

  • Golden retrievers
  • Labrador retrievers
  • Boxers
  • Pugs
  • Bichon Frises
  • American pitbulls
  • Bulldogs
  • German shepherds
  • Malteses
  • Shih tzus
  • Cocker Spaniels

There are many more breeds that are more allergy-prone than others. Check to see if your pup’s breed made the list.

How to treat your dog’s allergies at home

There are a handful of things you can do at home to help your pup with their seasonal allergy symptoms.

  • Adapt your daily walk routine. If possible, avoid walking your dog in the early morning or late afternoon when pollen levels are typically highest. Steer clear of fields and parks where offending plants are common. You could even try an indoor dog-friendly setting to avoid pesky outdoor allergens during peak allergy months. 
  • Wipe off their paws after walks. When you get home from a walk, wipe off your dog’s paws and body with a damp washcloth or a grooming wipe. This will remove any pollen and other allergens from their fur and skin.
  • Keep the air and surfaces clear. Regularly change the air filters in your home to cut down on airborne allergens. Running an air conditioner or a dehumidifier inside will help remove moisture from the air and make it harder for mold to grow. Vacuuming at least once a week and cleaning curtains and rugs that collect dust will also help.
  • Wash their bedding regularly. Your pup’s bed frequently comes into contact with allergens, so make sure to keep it clean by washing it in hot water every week. It’s also helpful to make sure any plush toys your dog plays with get washed regularly.
  • Take regular baths. Prevent dry, itchy skin by bathing your dog regularly. Wash with a gentle shampoo that contains a soothing ingredient such as oatmeal or aloe. 
  • Try an allergy supplement. Try giving your dog a dietary supplement, such as fish oil, to reduce itchiness and improve overall skin health. Coconut oil has also been known to alleviate allergic reactions while promoting healthy skin. 

When to see a vet

Your vet is the only person who can truly diagnose if your pup is dealing with allergies. Seasonal allergies may be to blame, but allergies can also be caused by food, fleas, and more. The symptoms could also be a result of a different underlying cause, so it’s best to check in with your vet to be sure.

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