Excessive itching, hair loss, wheezing and sneezing are all signs off allergies in dogs. While it may sound a little strange, a dog can suffer from an allergy to grass just like a person can. If you notice Fido exhibiting any of these symptoms every time he runs through the yard playing, it is important to get him checked out by a veterinarian for a grass allergy so you can begin proper treatment.
Keep the grass in your yard mowed short and limit the dog's exposure to tall grasses and weeds. If possible, create an area for the dog that is primarily gravel or sand to reduce her interaction with grass.
Wipe down the dog's body with a damp rag before bringing him back into the house. This will help remove some of the grass pollen that can cling to his fur, and help reduce the amount of irritation he experiences.
Monitor your dog at all times when she is in an area filled with grass. If you see the dog rolling around in the grass, use a training command to stop the action. Over time, this may help deter the behaviour and prevent future rolls in the hay.
Vacuum your home and wash any dog bedding frequently to help remove grass pollens carried in by pets and people.
Provide your dog with a daily supplement of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Premium dog foods may already contain these nutrients, so check the label first as additional supplementation may not be necessary. These supplements will help keep the skin and coat healthy, and reduce some skin irritation.
Ask your veterinarian about providing an antihistamine for your pet to help provide him with allergy relief. Some over-the-counter antihistamines can be used for dogs, but you must provide the proper dosage determined by your veterinarian (see Reference 2).
Use steroids such as prednisone as a last resort, and only in severe grass allergy cases. Long-term use of steroids for allergy treatment can interfere with your dog's immune system and can actually make your dog more aggressive (see Reference 2).
Contact your veterinarian immediately if any of the grass allergy symptoms worsen, or if your dog scratches herself to the point of bleeding. Excessive scratching and biting can result in a skin infection that must be treated with antibiotics immediately.
- First-Aid Companion for Dogs and Cats; Amy D. Shojai; 2001
- Canine Allergies
- When you notice your dog itching excessively, give her a cool bath with a mild shampoo like oatmeal shampoo or an aloe vera rinse to help soothe her skin.
- Do not bathe your dog too frequently, or use harsh flea shampoos that can further irritate skin.