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Pollen Allergies in Dogs

What Are Pollen Allergies in Dogs?

Pollen is small particles or dust from flowers, trees, and other plants that are transported by wind, animals, and insects to other plants. While pollen is vital for plant reproduction, it can cause seasonal allergies in dogs, leading to various symptoms.

Symptoms of Pollen Allergies in Dogs

  • Itchy, watery eyes

  • Redness of the skin

  • Licking paws

  • Generalized itching, scratching, chewing skin

  • Sneezing or reverse sneezing

  • Loose stools

  • Clear nasal drainage

  • Head shaking

  • Hair loss

  • Hives

Causes of Pollen Allergies in Dogs

Pollen allergies in dogs are caused by an overzealous response by the dog’s immune system triggered by pollen. The immune system mobilizes mast cells, which produce histamine, leading to itching, redness, and swelling.

Breeds Prone to Allergies:

  • Pit Bull Terriers

  • French and English Bulldogs

  • Golden and Labrador Retrievers

  • German Shepherds

  • Cocker Spaniels

  • Boxers

  • West Highland White Terriers

How Veterinarians Diagnose Pollen Allergies in Dogs

Diagnosis is often based on history and a physical exam. Vets may also run tests to rule out other causes of itchy skin, such as external parasites or mites. Intradermal allergy testing is the gold standard, but blood work can also help identify allergens.

Treatment of Pollen Allergies in Dogs

Medications for Pollen Allergies

  • Antihistamines: Over-the-counter medications like Benadryl® and Zyrtec® may be recommended for mild allergies. Always consult your vet for the appropriate dosage.

  • Prescription Medications: More severe allergies may require prescription medications like Apoquel® or steroids. Long-acting injectable medications like Cytopoint® can also provide relief.

Allergy Testing for Dogs

Allergy injections can be tailored to your dog based on specific allergens identified through testing. This process, called hyposensitization, gradually increases tolerance to the allergen.

Supplements and Prescription Foods

  • Omega Fatty Acids: Supplements like Vetoquinol® Omega, Nutramax® Welactin, and Dechra EicosaDerm™ can boost the natural barrier function of the skin.

  • Prescription Diets: Foods like Hill’s® Derm Complete are fortified with skin support ingredients to manage pollen allergies year-round.

Topical Therapy

  • Medicated Shampoos: Products like Douxo S3™ and KetoChlor® help reduce yeast and bacteria on the skin.

  • Ear Cleaners: Regular use of canine ear cleansers like EpiOtic® can reduce the frequency of ear infections.

Real-World Perspective

Case Study: Bella's Battle with Pollen Allergies

Bella, a 4-year-old Golden Retriever, started showing signs of pollen allergies every spring. She would scratch incessantly and lick her paws until they were raw. Her owner, Jane, took her to the vet, who diagnosed Bella with pollen allergies. Bella was prescribed Apoquel® for immediate relief and a regimen of omega-3 supplements. Additionally, Jane started wiping Bella’s paws after walks and bathing her every two weeks. Over time, Bella’s symptoms significantly improved, and she could enjoy the outdoors without constant discomfort.

Q&A Section

Q: How can I tell if my dog has pollen allergies?A: Symptoms include itching, scratching, licking paws, watery eyes, and sneezing. If your dog shows these symptoms seasonally, they might have pollen allergies.

Q: Can dogs develop allergies later in life?A: Yes, dogs can develop allergies at any age, although they often appear between 1-3 years old.

Q: Are some dog breeds more prone to pollen allergies?A: Yes, breeds like Pit Bull Terriers, French and English Bulldogs, Golden and Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Cocker Spaniels are more prone to allergies.

FAQ Section

Q: Are pollen allergies the most common type of seasonal allergies in dogs?A: Yes, pollen allergies are the most common type of seasonal allergies in dogs.

Q: What medications are prescribed for pollen allergies in dogs?A: Common medications include antihistamines, steroids, Apoquel®, and Cytopoint®.

Q: How can I reduce my dog’s exposure to pollen?A: Wipe down their feet and undercarriage after being outside, keep them cool and indoors during high pollen times, bathe them regularly, use a HEPA filter, and wash their bedding frequently.


Pollen allergies in dogs are a common issue that can significantly impact your dog's quality of life. By understanding the symptoms, causes, and treatments, you can help manage your dog's allergies effectively. Regular veterinary check-ups, appropriate medications, and lifestyle adjustments can make a substantial difference in your dog's comfort and health.

For more information and resources on managing pollen allergies in dogs, visit

Pollen Allergies in Dogs
Pollen Allergies in Dogs


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