How hay fever affects your pets
Its that time of the year again, hay fever season, and for those of us that suffer with allergies to the overabundance of pollen know to well the misery and tiered this it brings. But did you also know that your four legged friends can to suffer with hayfever? More and more people are finding out that, even when putting their pets on hypoallergenic diets, their pets still suffer during the summer periods.
While the cause of the allergies is the same in pets as it is in humans, the symptoms can be a little different. In humans, you might expect a runny nose, watery eyes and feeling short of breath, but these signs are much rarer in our pets. Some of the signs they might show if they are allergic to pollen:
- Licking or biting their paws
- Excessive scratching
- Redness of the skin, especially around the eyes and ears and in between the paws
- Shaking their head
- Rubbing their ears or muzzle
- Tired or lethargic, particularly on days when the pollen count is high
Some tips to help alleviate the issues of hay fever in your pets:
- Identify which types of pollens your pet is most affected by – if you manage to do this then avoidance is the most obvious solution! Find other areas to walk with fewer pollen triggers for your pet.
- Try to avoid walking your dog in early morning and late evening as this is usually when the pollen count is highest. The best time to take dogs out is when the pollen is low, such as before dawn, late afternoon and early evening, though these times vary depending on the weather.
- Keep dogs on a lead near grass – a quick roll in the grass can leave their fur covered in pollen, causing hours or even days of misery.
- Wipe their paws after every walk
- Keep up with the grooming – a really good daily brushing might help to remove any pollen that is clinging to their fur.
- Wash them weekly – while dogs usually only need a monthly bath, consider increasing the frequency during the pollen season. A weekly bath can help to get rid of any lingering pollen – a specialist hypo-allergenic pet shampoo is ideal and will have anti-bacterial ingredients to help avoid skin infections if your pet does decide to have a good scratch.
- Wash or hover their bedding weekly – any bedding that your pet regularly comes into contact needs to be cleaned regularly, otherwise your dog will end up covered in pollen again after every sleep!
It is also recommended to consider using natural aids and supplements to further help your pet in coping with this difficult time of year. A few products that we at Natural Pet Centre provide that would be TurmerItch and Allergy Aid which can help alleviate many of the symptoms of pollen allergy in your pets. It is also worth considering getting an intorlance test done for you pet to make sure that it isn’t just pollen causing reactions in your pet and to see if anything in their diet could also be at fault. We also supply an affordable and approved Intolerance Test Kit