Seasonal Allergy Tips for Dogs

by Sundays

Golden retriever puppy outside in long grass and dandelions

Find yourself sneezing at this time of year? Dogs can get seasonal allergies too, but it may impact them differently.

Both spring and fall are nice times of year–they help everyone ease into the extremes of summer and fall. But with that comes all kinds of allergens getting stirred up, whether it’s the pollen, weeds, fleas, and grasses outside or the dust mites, mold, and mildew inside during spring cleaning. And all that triggers seasonal allergies in dogs (and people too).

If you have allergies yourself, you know how annoying they can be, and it’s even harder to watch your pup itching and scratching if they have seasonal allergies, too. You might have just given up, thinking a vet visit is inevitable every year around this time to give your pup some relief. We’ve got some insider tips on how you can fight those seasonal allergies and possibly save yourself from a vet trip.

Get them some doggy allergy clothes.

Yes, it sounds funny, but it works. And if you’ve vowed never to put your pup in clothing, you’ll have to get past that, for their sake. All these allergens, especially all the pollen, grass, and weeds outside, like to mingle in your dog’s coat, especially if it’s long and fluffy. And that’s where the clothes come in. Instead of being a fashion statement, a doggy t-shirt becomes a barrier between your pup’s skin and fur and all those things that make them itch. 

If you live in an area where it’s cold during these months, and your pup has short fur, look for a nice, warm coat. Or if it’s blazing hot outside, you can find some UV shirts and even some cooling jackets with ice packs. Or you could put a doggy shirt in the freezer until it’s time for their walk. Be sure to get a bunch of them so you can put them right into the laundry pile after and use a new one each time you go out.

Start using a paw wash or cleaner.

You might not have ever heard of these, or maybe you thought they were only for super-fancy dogs. But paw washes are actually pretty practical, especially for dogs that have seasonal allergies. This is a great thing to get if you’ve noticed your dog chewing and licking at their paws after going out for a walk. 

Paw washes are just what they sound like. You keep them by the door, and when your dog comes in from their walk, you stop to dip their paws in and clean off any grasses, weeds, and pollens. You can also use a paw cleaner; some are foams with a little scrubber that you can use without water. Or you can always use your own version, which could be a simple spray bottle or hose and towel. 

Give your dog oatmeal baths.

Oatmeal is nature’s skin soother. Both people and dogs can benefit from taking an oatmeal bath to help calm itchy skin from seasonal allergies. You don’t need to buy a special oatmeal treatment, either. Just get a container of pure 100% oats with nothing added from the store. Here are the steps:

  1. Grind up the dry oats into a powder using a blender or coffee grinder. 
  2. Fill up the bath with cool to lukewarm water; make sure it’s not hot so it doesn’t end up irritating and drying out your dog’s skin.
  3. Add the oatmeal powder to the bathwater and stir it up.
  4. Put your dog in the bath (unless you did that in step 2).
  5. Gently rub the oatmeal water into your dog’s coat and skin for about 10 minutes. Use this time to bond with your pup.

As a bonus, the oatmeal bath will also help clean your pup and remove any odors from their coat. You can do an oatmeal bath up to twice a week when your dog is really itchy.

Try coat and paw wipes made just for dogs.

It’s very important not to use baby wipes or any other wipes made for people. A dog’s skin pH is different from ours, so companies make special wipes that are balanced for their skin. There are several types of allergy paw and coat wipes–some are hypoallergenic and/or made from plant-based ingredients so they won’t irritate the skin. Any time you walk your dog, make sure to wipe down any exposed areas to get the allergens off of them. 

Get an app to monitor daily pollen counts.

Check out pollen count or allergy monitoring apps so you can see which days and times are going to be worse for seasonal allergies. Try to schedule your walks accordingly, and limit your dog’s outside time during peak pollen times. If you have a really active pup that needs a lot of exercise, see if you can find an indoor dog play area or doggie daycare that you can use when the allergens are particularly bad.

Keep your dog’s skin healthy and strong with supplements.

One of the most-recommended supplements for healthy skin is omega-3 fatty acid. There are tons of supplements with this, from flavorful chews to fish oil that you can mix in with their regular food. This will help keep your dog’s coat and skin strong so they’ll be better protected when allergy season comes around. Bonus: Sundays for Dogs already contains high-quality fish oil made from a blend of fresh wild-caught sardine, herring, mackerel and anchovy from Iceland.

Protect them from flea allergies.

You may be blaming your pet’s seasonal allergies on all the plants, trees, and flowers blooming, but it could very well be an allergy to fleas, too. Your dog can be sent into a never-ending itching fit just from a single flea bite, even when they have been on flea and tick medication year-round. Flea saliva is no joke, and many dogs are allergic to it.

If your dog is biting at their rear end, above their tail, and you see sores or hair loss around their legs or tail area, it’s most likely a flea allergy. You may need to see your vet to treat the sores and itching with medications that will help with inflammation and possibly antibiotics if the skin is infected. They might also switch your dog to a different flea and tick medication that might work better for your pup. 

Take some precautions around the house.

If your dog’s “seasonal” allergies tend to go on all year, they may also be allergic to indoor allergens like dust mites, mold, and mildew. There are a lot of things you can do around your home to help protect your pet from these allergens. 

  1. Get an air purifier with a HEPA filter for allergens.
  2. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and vacuum at least once a week.
  3. Wash your pet’s bedding at least once a week and use a washable, hypoallergenic cover that protects against dust mites.
  4. If you live somewhere that has high humidity that can cause mold, get a dehumidifier.
  5. Avoid having rugs, curtains, or carpeting if you can.
  6. Clean your home once a week if possible.
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