Seasonal Allergy Symptoms in Dogs

Atopy, also known as seasonal allergies, can affect canines that are typically 2 years old or older. Seasonal allergies are present only during the pollen seasons and are caused by the different pollens that are airborne. The dog inhales these allergens and if he is more sensitive, his immune system will have a negative reaction and produce histamines. These histamines will cause the seasonal allergy symptoms in your pet. These may be similar to the symptoms the dog experiences during a respiratory infection, so a few tests should be performed by the vet to find out if your dog is allergic to pollens.

Itchy Skin

The most common symptom of atopy is itchy skin. The pollens may be inhaled and can also penetrate the dog's skin through the skin pores, resulting in itchy or irritated skin. The dog will scratch his skin trying to reduce the discomfort. He will rub his body against different surfaces. You may also find your dog pawing his face, as the skin on the face may be extremely itchy. The dog might stretch on cold places, as these can soothe the itchiness.

If the allergies are not treated, the dog may scratch the skin to the point of causing wounds and skin infections. In time, the skin can become dry and flaky.

Skin Rashes

The seasonal allergies may cause skin rashes. You may fail to observe these as they are hidden under the dog's fur, but you should pay attention to your dog's skin, especially if he displays other symptoms that can be associated with seasonal allergies.

Watery Eyes

The pollens can affect the dog's eyes, causing a watery discharge and even conjunctivitis. If conjunctivitis is present, the dog's eye whites will be red and irritated.

Runny Nose

The seasonal allergies may affect the mucous membranes of the dog and he may have a runny nose. The discharge will be transparent, and this is a good indicator that can make the distinction between allergies and respiratory infections that cause similar symptoms. In the case of respiratory infections, the discharge may be thick and even colored.

Respiratory Symptoms

The dog will display respiratory symptoms, as he will inhale the pollens and these will cause the immune system to produce histamines. The histamines will cause the swelling of the respiratory tract, which results in difficulty breathing, coughing, panting, wheezing or sneezing.


Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that occurs in rare cases, but causes the extreme swelling of the respiratory tract, making it impossible for the dog to breathe. The face and the limbs of the dog will become immediately swollen. The dog requires an epinephrine shot so that the allergic reaction can be controlled and so that he can breathe again. An anaphylactic shock can be deadly.