Dogs are just as susceptible to hay fever as humans, but it can be difficult to recognise the signs of a seasonal dog allergy. John Howie of Lintbells explains the symptoms to look out for and some effective ways to treat them…

Does your dog scratch and bite his body? Has he started to lick his paws? Does he rub his face on the floor or furniture? All are classic symptoms of hay fever or another seasonal allergy. Dogs can inhale pollen granules in exactly the same way as we do, but the resulting responses are different. While we tend to react with a runny nose, watery eyes and sneezing, a dog allergy will generally show on his skin. This is because the histamines released by the body in response to pollen in animals are mostly released in the skin rather than in the nose and eyes.

It’s not just by inhaling pollen that a dog can suffer hay fever either. Direct contact with the skin can also trigger these responses so frolicking in a grassy meadow this summer could leave your pet with a persistent itch.

Dog hay fever symptoms

If your dog is suffering from dog skin allergies like hay fever he is likely to scratch and bite his body, possibly to the extent that he will pull some of his coat out. He may also lick his paws, shake his head and rub his face on the floor or furniture. He is likely to be more sensitive to being touched and generally miserable in his demeanor.

In more severe cases, the skin may well appear pink, red or inflamed, and if they have scratched so much that they have broken the surface of the skin, the scratch may well have become infected with bacteria.

If your dog is sensitive to seasonal allergies, it is likely that they will start showing these symptoms from April onwards as dogs are particularly sensitive to tree pollen, which is present in the air much earlier than grass pollen. The early days of spring are when we usually start to see dogs suffering with these type of allergies.

Soothing your dog’s skin

In order to prevent these irritating symptoms it is worth ensuring that your dog’s natural skin defences are working as well as they possibly can. Omega 6 and 3 oils increase the essential fatty acids in a dog’s diet to improve their skin health. One way you can ensure the correct balance of these oils is by adding Yumega Plus to your dog’s diet. A healthy balance of these oils should help to calm sensitivity and irritation in the skin, and will make it more difficult for the pollen to penetrate the skin, which should discourage scratching. Yumega Plus contains golden flax, starflower and fresh salmon oil plus high levels of vitamin E making it perfect for dogs with itchy and sensitive skin.

Other things that you should try include bathing your dog with a shampoo designed to reduce skin problems, although not so frequently that it dries out the skin or you could lose those vital oils in their coat. It’s also very important to keep up to date with flea control and brushing the coat to ensure there is no dirt and debris or trapped pollen in matted hair. At peak hay fever times ensure you brush the coat to remove seeds from his coat and wipe him down with a damp towel after his walk to get rid of the pollen. Regularly washing your dog’s grooming brushes and bedding can help too.

If you suspect your dog’s scratching has lead to a skin infection, you should visit your vet as soon as possible to ensure the infection does not spread further.

For more information on Yumega Plus, contact Lintbells on 01462 790886, visit or email