Yes! Pets Can Have Pollen Allergies

Yes! Pets Can Have Pollen Allergies


We typically think of dry eyes, sneezing and rashes as common allergy symptoms. And they are—for humans.  Unlike humans whose allergy symptoms usually involve the respiratory tract, allergies in pets take the form of skin irritation. If you notice that your pet is excessively itching or shedding during the Spring or Summer months, then these symptoms could be the result of seasonal pollen allergies.

Signs That Your Pet Has Allergies

Allergies occur when the body makes an exaggerated response to foreign proteins. Just like in humans, animals experience allergic reactions because the immune system overreacts to pollen, dust, certain foods or an insect bite.  

The bodily response is to produce large amounts of white blood cells into the bloodstream to destroy invading microorganisms, thus contributing to cellular inflammatory responses. These responses show on a physical level as a wide range of symptoms, including hot spots, ear infections, hair loss and an intensely itchy skin condition called atopic dermatitis (atopy). Atopic dermatitis causes of a great deal of suffering for 1 in 7 dogs and cats in Canada.

If your pet has atopic dermatitis, their skin will become very itchy. Your pet will start scratching themselves excessively, rubbing their faces along the furniture, biting or chewing at certain areas of their body, or licking their feet.

If your pet’s seasonal allergy symptoms are not treated, they can worsen to occur year-round.

How to Manage Seasonal Allergies

a. Know What is in the Air

Get daily pollen forecasts in your local area. Allergy Sufferers by Aerobiology Research is an app that allows you to get personalized reports and helps monitor activities related to your pet’s allergies. For example, using the app, pet owners will be able to know when pollen count outdoors is low and when is the best time to go for a walk.  

b. Clean Frequently

Keep the indoor areas where your pet spends the most time as clean as possible. The best way to accomplish this is by vacuuming and cleaning floors, furniture and bedding often. Additionally, avoid wearing jackets and outdoor clothes indoors to reduce the likelihood of pollen transfer.

c. Use an Air Purifier

Invest in an air purifier that removes allergy triggers from the indoor surroundings. Look for air purifiers with HEPA or DFS Technology which are proven to remove allergens such as pollen, mould and dust mites. DFS technology in particular has been scientifically tested to capture and kill particles within its filters.

d. Get Medication  

For short-term relief, Steroid drugs are often prescribed by veterinary clinics. For long-term relief, allergen-specific immunotherapy (most commonly known as allergy shots) may be required. Immunotherapy stops your dog’s immune system from overreacting to allergens by consistently giving your pet small doses of the substance they are allergic to until they develop a tolerance.

If you think your pet is suffering from seasonal allergies, visit your veterinarian and have your pet thoroughly evaluated before developing allergy management plans. If allergy symptoms only occur during the Spring and Summer months, pollen allergies are likely the cause. If your pet shows these symptoms year-round, then they may suffer through combination of multiple allergies.