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It’s Going to Be an Early Spring | Hayfever Symptoms in Dogs

I’ve dealt with hay fever for as long as I can remember.  When I was a kid, spring time came with swollen, watery eyes, uncontrollable sneezing, and hiding inside while I watched my friends play outside our living room window.  The only allergy medicine available made me drowsy.  It sucked.

This year I’ll be 42 year old and I just learned (thanks to my boyfriend’s research) that if you eat local honey (which is yummy), it’ll help you build an immunity to local pollen.  As you can imagine, honey is my bestest friend right now.

So when the Groundhog said that we’d have an early spring right before winter dumped a load on the east coast, I wasn’t worried.  Honey has got me covered.  Then the sun came out, the weather started getting warmer and yesterday I started sneezing.  Not big deal, right?  And then the unforeseeable happened…

Hayfever Symptoms in Dogs

  • Blue started getting eye goobers; more than normal.  He has itchy eyes and a runny nose.
  • Rodrigo started getting itchy; especially his ears, legs and paws.  He also has a runny nose and is sneezing.
  • Sydney experienced the return of the itchy redness in her armpits.

Our dogs have seasonal allergies.  I thought these weren’t supposed to start until April or May, but I guess I was wrong.  I’m going to call the veterinarian to confirm the symptoms and to see if I need to bring the dogs in for an exam.

Some Breeds are More Prone to Hayfever than Others

  • Boston Terriers
  • Cairn Terriers
  • Dalmatians
  • Irish Setters
  • Poodles
  • Schnauzers
  • Scottish Terriers
  • West Highland Terriers
  • Wired-Haired Terriers
Our dogs aren’t on this list so what gives?  I read that 10 percent of American dogs suffer from hayfever, what are the chances that I have three of them?  Lucky, I guess.  I wonder if the percentage is higher in the Pacific Northwest.  Another question for the vet.

This is How We Relieve Hayfever Symptoms in Dogs

  • Last night, Rodrigo got a bath.  Cool (not cold) water to cool his skin down.  I used one of our favorite shampoo, John Paul Pet Calm Moisture Shampoo or the Oatmeal.  He tried to hide from me, but then he was a happy dog after, because he felt so much better.
  • Sydney’s armpit rash were treated with Witch Hazel (to clean the area), Aloe Vera gel, and then baby powder to make it easier when the skin rubbed when she walked.
  • Everyone got a dosage of Benedryl, which helped alleviate any itchiness and cleared up Blue’s eye.
  • Rodrigo gets to have his paws rinsed off each evening to wash off any allergens that cause them to itch.  If this doesn’t alleviate the itching, we’ll do a paw soak in Epsom salt.  Directions: Dissolve a 1/2 cup of Epsom salt into a gallon of very warm; be sure to stir well to disolve the Epsom salt
  • We ran out of time to wash their bedding last night, but we’ll wash it tonight.  But we did wash the blankets covering the furniture in the house.
  • And we vacuumed the house with our Rainbow Vacuum Cleaner, which does a great job of cleaning any allergens in the air.

The next step is to call our veterinarian to see if we need to bring the dogs in (I believe I typed this already).  I’ll keep you updated on what she has to say.


Do you have a dog who suffers from hayfever?  Please share the symptoms and what you do to relieve the hayfever symptoms.


  1. My dog is a labX. He’s a rescue so who knows what he is crossed with but I doubt it is any on that list either (he’s BIG so no terriers). Still he has a ton of allergies. I had him tested (blood test) and found out he was allergic to grass,certain trees and some other things in the enviroment.
    We do a lot of vaccuming in our house as well lol. I use unscented baby wipes to wipe his feet and coat off when he comes in to help keep the pollen down. I havn’t heard of the epsom salt soak…that might be worth trying as his feet get so itchy and he chews them. Is there a ratio you use and for how long?
    Good luck! I had a friend with a Boston who put t-shirts on him to keep his tummy and chest from touching the grass. He looked adorable and his belly didn’t get so red!

    • I found this online about Epsom salt – Dissolve a 1/2 cup of Epsom salt into a gallon of very warm; be sure to stir well to disolve the Epsom salt; and I’ll update the post to add it. It’s good to know so thanks so much for asking!.

  2. Read your blogging in My Pajamas email and I can see the changes you’ve made…Nice work!

    • Thanks! I wish I would have done this a long time ago, but the timing is great, because I’ll be getting a lot of traffic due to upcoming features and BlogPaws. It’s nice to clean it up a bit. I’m also redoing the logo slightly; I have a new tag line, and I’ll be ordering new business cards :)

      Stay tuned!!!

  3. wow….this is a new one for me!

    I just learned something 100% new, I was never aware that dogs suffered from allergies!

    Thanks Kimberly, super informative article

    • Isn’t that crazy! Things like this are good to know, because it can save on a vet bill if the allergies aren’t to severe and save on medicine that might be too heavy. There are so many things we can do that don’t involve medicating our dogs :)

  4. Sounds like you are doing a lot of good things to keep the allergies away. Shiner is plagued with allergies too. In fact, most people and dogs that live in Austin have allergies. Central Texas is one of the worst places for allergies I’ve heard. I did get some witch hazel as you mentioned before to test out. We will see how it works out – Shiner’s starting to get real itchy too!

    • Rodrigo got a bath and that helped – he was getting dry skin, a rash, and licking is legs and paws like crazy; no more after the bath. I can’t use shampoo weekly, but I can at least rinse him off or wipe him down more often so that I can get the pollen off of him. He’s not a fan, but I can tell he feels better.

      It was great arriving home yesterday to three happy, comfortable dogs.

  5. Oh man, thank you so much for posting this!! Domeek has been wondering about my random allergies for a couple of weeks now! She was going to bring it up at my yearly check up with the Vet…but now she has a little more to go on! I sneeze , cough, and itch my eyes! :-/ It blows! I’m sad that your pups experience similar symptoms but I’m glad I’m not the only one!

    • I’m glad that I can help; it’s a tough time for all of us with hay fever. I take honey which helps me, but the dogs don’t get to have honey. But we’ve figured out how to give them some relief.

  6. I might have a food allergy, but that is it. I have lots of friends that have bad allergies to even things like grass. I feel sorry for them as their poor paws are raw and they have to take lots of medicines. It is always something to watch for.

    • I’m glad that you don’t have grass allergies, it’s a rough one and means more baths.

  7. Allergies in dogs is very common all over the United States. Some pets can have runny eyes and nose like people but most dogs with inhalant allergies or atopy (vet terminology) are itchy in their skin. Glad to hear that your babies are responding to bathing and Benadryl. If these home therapies don’t work or your pet is severely itchy there are other things your vet can give that will help. See this article I wrote about alternative therapies for dogs with really bad allergies @

    • Thank for the article link. We’re lucky, because our dogs don’t have severe allergies. Once we switched to a raw food diet, all allergy issues were resolved. Now we just make sure to rinse off their paws when we mow the lawn or return from the beach.

      I’ll check out your article now.



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