Met Office warns dogs can get hay fever: What you need to know

dog with hay fever walks in grass
Dogs can get hay fever in the summer months too. (Getty Images)

Each year, between March and September when the pollen count is highest, hay fever sufferers face weeks, if not months, of runny noses, itchy throats and watery eyes. But, did you know that pets can get hay fever too?

The Met Office has warned pet owners that their four-legged friends can suffer from hay fever symptoms too.

“Summer days can bring about high pollen counts, which can mean irritation and misery for not just humans who suffer with hay fever, but their four-legged friends with allergies as well,” the Met Office wrote.

Here’s everything you need to know.

Signs and symptoms of hay fever in dogs

Hay fever in dogs often affects their skin. Blue Cross says that if you notice any of the below symptoms, your dog may have hay fever:

  • Itching their paws, eyes, ears, armpits, abdomen, legs, around their bum and groin

  • Flaky skin that is also red and sore in areas

  • Greasy-feeling skin

  • Fur loss from excessive rubbing or licking

Puppy Scratching fleas
Excessive scratching can be a sign of hay fever in dogs. (Getty Images)

How to treat hay fever in dogs

While hay fever can’t be cured, it is possible to manage the symptoms. Firstly, if you suspect your dog does have hay fever, you should contact your vet for advice.

Some options to treat hay fever in pets include topical treatments like medicated shampoos and creams, wipes, medicated ear and eye drops, antihistamines, steroids to reduce skin inflammation and immunotherapy.

Tips for managing hay fever in dogs

There are also some things you can do to lessen hay fever symptoms in your pup, including:

  • Walking your dog in the early morning or late evening to avoid high midday pollen counts

  • Wiping your dog’s skin, paws, and fur with a flannel

  • Regularly washing bedding

  • Vacuuming often

  • Using an air filtering system to keep pollen out of the household

It’s best to get your dog allergy tested if you notice they have the signs and symptoms of hay fever, as your vet will be able to tell you what pollen they are allergic to (tree, grass or weed) and you will be able to tailor your dog’s treatment to this information.

Read more: Hayfever

Watch: Five natural ways to help treat hay fever