Humans choose a beautiful and loyal companion for them when they decide to adopt a dog. Dogs of all shapes and sizes and breeds are adorable.
We treat them just as we treat our children. Nowadays many couples adopt a dog or a cat before they decide on having children. They pride themselves in being called a pet parent. But being a pet parent comes with its own set of challenges.
Being a pet parent, seeing our pet in discomfort breaks our hearts. Our furry friends are an integral part of our life and their pain adds to our stress. Dogs can get sick in several ways and allergies are a major part of their life. One such allergy is grass allergy, which we will discuss in detail in this article. We will learn the causes of grass allergy along with its symptoms and what can we do to help our pet in such a painful situation.
What Causes Grass Allergies in Dogs?
First, let us understand what is grass allergy in dogs and what are the reasons behind it. Grass allergy is one of the most common allergies that hurt dogs. The reason behind this allergy being so common is that dogs love to play in grass and they even chew on grass. The poor pets are not able to understand that the same grass they are playing in may cause them major discomfort. The culprit behind Grass Allergies in Dogs is pollen. Pollen is a yellow substance that is in powder form and is present in flowering plants. Your dog’s allergy can flare up if they come in contact with pollen from grass. Your dog might come in contact with pollen in the following ways:
Through skin when playing outdoors
Mostly in the spring and summer seasons, when your pet is playing outdoors, there is a chance of them catching an allergy as their skin is exposed to grass pollen.
Breathing in pollen
The pollen may also reach their lungs if they breathe in pollen during outdoor visits.
Your dog might catch a grass allergy if someone who has been exposed to pollen pets them.
By licking their pollen-infested body
If your dog starts licking their body after coming from outdoors, there is a high chance it will get pollen into its internal body.
In fact, inhaling pollen is the most common cause of grass allergies in dogs.
Why is My Dog Allergic To Grass?
You might be wondering why your neighbor’s dog is perfectly fine when it plays in grass. But your dog catches grass allergy quite easily. The reason behind this is your dog’s breed and their age. Grass allergy is common among dogs, but there are certain breeds that are more prone to catch this allergy than other breeds.
Puppies that are over 3 months of age are highly susceptible to catching grass allergy. Furthermore, certain dog breeds namely Golden and Labrador Retrievers, Terriers, Pugs, Bulldogs, and German Shepherds are infamous for catching allergies. If you live in an area where there is a high amount of grass pollen, there is a high chance of your dog being infected.
If your dog’s skin has insect bites, it may make its skin an easy target for grass allergies. Certain health conditions also make your dog susceptible to grass allergies. Dogs suffering from Hypothyroidism or Atopy are more prone to catch grass allergy.
Dog Grass Allergy Symptoms
Your dog may show certain symptoms if they get allergic to grass. If your pet is allergic to grass, you might notice the below-mentioned symptoms in them:
Your dog might experience itchiness all over their body and hence keep on scratching their body. They may even bite their own body due to the discomfort. Their skin may turn red and scabby. Dogs may even open wounds in their body in order to get some comfort from the constant itching.
2. Excessive Licking
Your pet may try to soothe its itchy skin by continuously licking its body. And the more they lick their body, the more the allergy spreads.
3. Watery Eyes
Red and watery eyes are a symptom of allergy in dogs. Your dog’s eyes might get irritated and hence turn weepy due to grass allergy.
4. Runny Nose
A runny nose and constant sneezing may also signal that your dog is allergic to grass.
Loose stool is another discomfort caused by grass allergy. This symptom is not as common as the other symptoms on this list.
Their throat might get inflamed due to allergy and hence they might snore.
7. Swollen Paws
Pay attention to your dog’s paws if you suspect them of having a grass allergy. “Swollen paws” is another symptom that presents itself in the case of grass allergy.
Hives are another symptom that presents itself in the case of grass allergies in dogs. Your dog’s skin may develop small, red, and swollen spots.
The above-mentioned symptoms are common in certain other illnesses as well. Hence, it is better to take your dog to the vet instead of trying to self-diagnose at home.
My Dog is Allergic to Grass: Diagnosis and Treatment
It is quite tricky to determine whether the itchiness your dog is experiencing is caused by grass allergy or dry skin. Always mention to your vet about the seasonal allergies your dog is experiencing so that they can rule out other causes.
Your dog will undergo a thorough physical examination. The vet might even order some laboratory tests to better diagnose the allergy. The below-mentioned tests can be done to diagnose grass allergy in your dog:
1. Serum Allergy Test
This test uses a blood sample to determine the allergen present in your dog’s body. The vet may order CBC (complete blood count), urine, and stool analysis along with swabs for checking out bacterial and fungal infections.
2. Intradermal Allergy Test
This test is done by injecting small amounts of allergen in your pet’s shaved skin patch and determining the type of allergy by diagnosing those symptoms. This is a costly but highly effective test for determining grass allergy.
Dogs with Grass Allergies: Home Remedies to Try
There are certain home remedies that you can try to provide relief to your allergic pet. You can use over-the-counter shampoos such as shampoos that contain oatmeal and are mild in nature. You can also use aloe to soothe their itchiness. Certain over-the-counter gels and creams are also available in the market.
Dog Grass Allergy Treatment
If your dog’s allergy is severe, you should take it to the vet. The vet might prescribe any of the following treatment options:
The doctor may prescribe some antihistamines to relieve sneezing and irritated eyes. Your pet’s immune system starts releasing histamines to fight the signs of allergy and hence your dog suffers from sneezing and watery eyes.
2. Anti-inflammatory medicines
Certain medications may be prescribed that help in relieving itchiness. The vet may decide on the dosage according to the severity of the allergy. This is usually the first course of treatment as relieving the dogs of the itchiness blocks the further spread of the allergy.
3. Omega-3 and Omega-6
Your vet may prescribe supplements for Omega-3 and Omega-6 as they soothe inflammation and itchiness.
The doctor may prescribe injections or medicines accordingly if an allergy test is performed by drawing blood or through the skin. These medications are specially designed according to the specific needs of your dog.
These medications prepare the dog’s immune system gradually to fight against allergens by injecting small amounts of allergens at a time. This approach takes time but is the best way to treat grass allergy.
Ways To Prevent Grass Allergy in Your Dog
If your dog has been ill previously, try to figure out the type of grass your dog is allergic to. Monitor your dog’s activities carefully and find out when their allergy is triggered. In the future, avoid such outdoor areas for your dog where the allergens grow. If you happen to have a lawn, keep it well-trimmed.
Also, use soap and water or medicated wipes for cleaning their body after they play in the outdoor area. Keep their body and paws clean and disinfected.
How Long Will It Take for Your Dog to Recover from Grass Allergy?
Dogs normally recover from grass allergies in a few months except for some severe cases where it might be a year before your dog’s allergy subsides. Just make sure to stick to the treatment for the rest of your dog’s life otherwise a second episode of the allergy may be more painful. Grass allergy is a recurring episode hence preventing it is a better option.
We hope this article was able to clear your doubts regarding Grass Allergies in Dogs. Have a blissful pet-parent relationship with your dog without worrying about grass allergies.