When we think of seasonal allergies, we tend to think of the sneezing and runny noses that come with the change of seasons, particularly in the spring and fall.
Now that summer is in full swing, you may be surprised to find that your pup is still showing signs of seasonal allergies. Or, perhaps you’ve got a pooch that struggles with year-round allergies.
Keep reading to learn more about seasonal allergies in dogs, especially with it comes to summer allergies.
Do Dogs Get Summer Allergies?
When it comes to dogs and allergies, there are three main categories: food allergies, flea allergies, and environmental allergies. Summer allergies in dogs tend to consist of the latter two: flea allergies and environmental allergies.
Flea allergies, as their name implies, come from flea bites. Fleas are problematic enough as it is, jumping onto our pets’ bodies from the yard or around the home and resulting in itchy, irritated skin. Some dogs are even allergic to flea bites, leading to swelling, rashes, and scabs in addition to that already uncomfortable itching.
Environmental allergens can also cause summer allergies in dogs: pollen, dust, mold, grass, weeds, and even certain fabrics or cleaning solutions, for example.
Signs Your Dog Has Summer Allergies
If you experience your own seasonal allergies, you’re likely familiar with common allergy symptoms: itchy eyes, runny nose, congestion, and overall discomfort.
Dogs experience many of those same symptoms, not to mention a handful of allergy-related skin problems. You may also notice some considerable changes in your dog’s behavior as a result of his summer allergies.
Common signs of allergies in dogs include:
- Red, irritated ears
- Puffy, watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Excessively scratching and/or licking certain areas
- Skin rashes and redness
- Hair loss
- Hot spots
- Face rubbing (in an attempt to soothe itchiness)
- Head shaking due to ear irritation
Your dog’s allergy symptoms typically aren’t isolated, and can easily lead to further issues. For example, if your dog’s itchiness is resulting in excessively scratching, biting, or licking his skin, his skin will become even more irritated and more susceptible to infections.
Soothing Your Dog’s Summer Allergies
Before you take steps to soothe your dog’s summer allergies, it’s important to understand the source. Food allergies, for example, aren’t necessarily related to the change of seasons—but they can have comparable effects on your dog’s skin. If you’re unsure of the source of your dog’s discomfort, your vet should be able to help you identify the culprit.
If possible, remove the allergen in question. This is somewhat simple if your dog is allergic to a certain fabric or household cleaner; if he’s allergic to grass or pollen, on the other hand, you’ll need to focus more on managing his discomfort.
Some of our favorite tips for soothing seasonal allergies in dogs include:
Avoid walks when pollen levels are at their peak (typically early morning or late afternoon).
Wipe your dog’s paws after going outside to avoid bringing those allergens inside.
Vacuum your home and clean your dog’s bedding on a regular basis to remove any allergens that may have made their way indoors regardless of your efforts.
Give your dog more frequent baths to remove any pollen, fleas, or other allergens from his body (but make sure not to overdo it, as this can strip the coat and skin of its necessary oils). Use soothing shampoos, such as Pet Honesty’s Chlorhexidine Shampoo.
- Give your dog immune-boosting dietary supplements; fish oil and coconut oil and also do wonders for your dog’s skin.
Pet Honesty’s Allergy Support+ Chews, made of natural ingredients such as colostrum, coconut oil, fish oil, probiotics, and quercetin, are a vet-recommended supplement to support your dog’s immune system and soothe allergy-related issues. Plus, they come in a tasty chicken flavor!
Learn more about keeping your dog safe and healthy this summer on our blog: Preparing Your Pup for Summer.