Dogs' Allergy to Grass

Dogs allergy to grass is very common and is a seasonal allergy which occurs as a negative reaction to grass pollens. The most frequent symptoms of allergies are the itchiness of feet and sneezing. Grass allergies can be managed with medication or allergy shots. If not managed, the allergies can turn worse in time.

Causes of Grass Allergy

Grass allergies are caused by the pollens that are present on the grass and occur during spring and early summer.

Pollens are minuscule parts produced by the reproductive system of plants. The pollens travel through the air with the aid of the wind and pollinate other plants.

Symptoms of Grass Allergy

The symptoms of grass allergy are not different from the symptoms experienced in the case of other types of allergies. The dog may present the following symptoms:

  • Sneezing, as the pollens from the grass are inhaled
  • Itchy skin, especially feet, as these are in direct contact with the grass
  • Ocular and nasal discharges
  • Swollen nose
  • Head shaking
  • Inflamed ears
  • Hair loss
  • Breathing problems, due to the swollen air passages
  • Dry cough

The dog may display these symptoms after being in contact with grass or eating grass.

A lot of dogs like to eat grass and this can also cause a negative digestive reaction as well. A dog that is allergic to grass can vomit after eating it.

If the dog inhales the grass pollens, the immune system may identify these as a threat and produce histamines, which will trigger the allergy symptoms.

The same symptoms may point to different other allergies. To suspect grass allergy, your pet needs to display these symptoms only during pollen season, namely in the spring and early summer.

Test for Detecting Allergies

If the vet suspects grass allergies, he can determine if the dog is indeed allergic to grass by performing a test. The test can be performed on a blood sample or on the dog’s skin. If the blood contains an antibody secreted if the dog is allergic to grass pollens, the diagnosis is clear.

If the vet chooses intradermal testing, he will inject a substance containing pollens and the dog will display an allergic reaction in the injected area.

Grass Allergy Treatment

Since avoiding the grass and the outdoors is not possible with dogs, you will have to get a treatment to manage the dog’s allergies.

There are numerous prescription drugs (i.e. antihistamines or steroids) or over the counter drugs to manage allergies. There are also allergy shots that can work well in reducing the allergic reactions in the long run.

Reducing Grass Allergies

You can reduce the grass allergies by installing air conditioners or air purifiers in the home, so the dog won’t be exposed to the allergens.

Also, you can wash your dog’s skin after he comes in the house, to remove the pollens that may be present on his skin.

Giving vitamins and supplements to support the immune system can also help reducing the grass allergy symptoms.