Most dogs love to play in the grass. Dogs will lay, run and roll in the grass, but sometimes they persistently scratch and lick themselves after being in it. This may have led you to wonder, can dogs suffer from grass allergies?
Many people experience allergies in spring and summer from pollen that comes from different types of grass. Dealing with allergies can be frustrating and uncomfortable. However, people aren’t the only ones who struggle with allergies as dogs can get them too.
Can dogs be allergic to grass? Symptoms and treatments
Just like humans, dogs can be allergic to grass pollen. Some dogs are born with allergies to grass pollen, whereas others develop them over time. They are often allergic to the same pollen we are but often have different symptoms.
Fortunately, if your dog is allergic to grass pollen, there are several ways to treat it. Your veterinarian can help assess the situation in order to help your dog receive the best treatment for allergies. Some dogs may have only a small reaction to grass, whereas others may have a more serious reaction to pollen.
You can also consider replacing your lawn with artificial grass for dogs to keep your dog safe in your backyard and give you the peace of mind that you have a clean and non-toxic lawn for your pet.
Causes of grass allergies
When a dog has grass allergies, they are allergic to the grass pollen and pollens of other plants, not the grass itself. The pollen can cause irritation through inhalation. Even if a dog has not been on grass, the pollen can be blown from a nearby location and cause allergies to occur.
Since grass pollens occur seasonally, your dog will most likely show symptoms in spring and summer. Pollen is fine and powdery, capable of traveling several miles in the air.
Common weeds cause grass allergies to flare up
Certain weeds can cause grass allergies to flare up in dogs. Ragweed, a common type of soft-stem weed that contains 17 different species, is another common cause of allergies. It typically is in season from August to October, which is later than other plants, but it can cause serious allergies in some dogs.
Dandelions, one of the most common weeds, is another plant that can cause allergies to flare up in dogs. These abundant weeds can potentially carry lots of pollen that can cause irritation in dogs. Nettle, another common weed, can cause allergies to occur in dogs, as well as being toxic is ingested.
Grass allergy symptoms
A dog’s symptoms from grass allergies can be anywhere from hardly noticeable to obvious discomfort. Similar to people, a dog with grass allergies may have watery eyes, runny noses, and scratchy throats. In more severe cases, a dog may experience swollen paws, vomiting, diarrhea, scabbed skin, and excessive licking.
The most common symptom you will see is itchiness, which leads to scratching, biting, and licking. The most affected areas are the head, armpits, belly, and paws. Dogs will often gnaw at their paws when they experience grass allergies.
Treatment for grass allergies
If you suspect your dog may be suffering from grass allergies, you should take them to your veterinarian to assess the problem and provide further treatment if needed. In the meantime, try to limit your dog’s time on grass and wipe down their paws before they come inside. Regularly bathe your dog with hypoallergenic shampoo and use flea prevention to prevent any further irritations.
Yes, dogs can be allergic to grass
It is not uncommon for dogs to experience allergies to grass pollen. When this occurs, they often bite and lick themselves to relieve the discomfort. Fortunately, by choosing the right grass, and with help from your veterinarian, and by cleaning your dog after being on the grass, you can help treat grass allergies.
Tony Manhart is founder and editor in chief at Gardening Dream. Tony’s enthusiasm and rich experience in all things related to growing plants have led him to share his abundant knowledge with gardening aficionados all over the world. When he is not working around his own garden, Tony spends his time writing tips and tricks on a variety of subjects related to plant cultivation and soil maintenance.