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How to Treat Your Dog's Grass Allergy

Written by: Helena Lawrence

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Time to read 7 min

Learn what causes grass allergies in dogs, how to spot them and explore the most cost-effective natural and over-the-counter treatments out there.

What is a Grass Allergy?

A grass allergy in dogs is caused by their immune system overreacting to allergens found in grass, such as grass pollen and proteins. These substances enter their system through inhalation or contact with their skin (such as rolling around in the grass), and their immune system mistakenly sees them as harmful.  The body then releases histamines to protect the body.

What Causes a Grass Allergy in Dogs?


These are some high-risk factors to watch out for:

  • Breed - Some dog breeds are simply more prone to allergies than others, such as Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers.
  • Areas with high grass pollen counts - Dogs who live in areas with high grass pollen counts are more likely to suffer from allergies.
  • Tree pollen allergy - If your dog has a tree pollen allergy, they’re much more likely to have a grass pollen allergy.
  • Health conditions - Dogs who have experienced trauma to the skin (such as from hot spots or insect bites) may be more likely to develop an allergy to grass proteins, as well as dogs with underlying medical conditions such as hypothyroidism or atopy.

How do I know if my dog is allergic to grass?

If your dog is constantly scratching and seems to always be uncomfortable, they might have a grass allergy. Dogs can be allergic to all sorts of things in their environment, and dogs that enjoy rolling in the grass can get symptoms from direct contact.


Watch out for these signs:

  • Itchy skin
  • Runny eyes
  • Stuffy nose
  • Sneezing or snoring more than unusual (due to throat inflammation)
  • Diarrhoea
  • Vomiting

Be sure to call upon your local vet for help as they might be able to recommend anti-itch shampoos and sprays to relieve discomfort and may even prescribe allergy shots in severe cases.

Common symptoms of a dog grass allergy

Scabby, itchy, and red skin

This is by far the most common symptom of allergies in dogs. If you notice your dog scratching or biting at their skin more than usual, it could be a sign that they're trying to relieve an itch caused by an allergen. 

Runny eyes

Another common symptom of allergies is watery or runny eyes. If your dog's eyes are constantly tearing up or they seem irritated, it could be a sign that they're allergic to something outside. 

Itchy tail and back

In addition to itchy skin, dogs with allergies may also lick or chew at their tails or backs in an attempt to relieve the itchiness. 

Diarrhoea

While not as common as other symptoms on this list, diarrhoea can also be a sign that your dog has an allergy. This is usually caused by ingestion of the allergen (e.g., grass), but can also be a reaction to topical irritants (e.g., shampoo). 

Vomiting

Like diarrhoea, vomiting can also occur if your dog ingests an allergen or comes into contact with a topical irritant. However, it's important to note that vomiting can also be a sign of other health problems, so if you notice your dog vomiting frequently, it's always best to consult with your vet. 

Sneezing

Sneezing is another common symptom of allergies in dogs and can be caused by both indoor and outdoor allergens (e.g., pollen). 

Snoring due to an inflamed throat

If your dog snores more than usual or seems to be having difficulty breathing through their nose, it could be due to an inflamed throat caused by allergies. 

Swollen paws

Swelling of the paws is another potential symptom of allergies and is usually caused by coming into contact with an allergen (e.g., pollen). 

How to Treat Your Dog's Grass Allergy

Dog running through grass

While there’s no definitive cure, there are a number of different treatments available for dogs with grass allergies, including both prescription and over-the-counter medications. Let’s explore the best treatment options.

Natural Treatments

Wipe Your Dog’s Fur And Paws

If you think your dog may have a grass allergy, one of the best things you can do is keep them from coming into contact with the offending allergen.


This means wiping their fur and paws after they've been outside and keeping them away from areas with high grass pollen counts. You can also try to limit their exposure to other potential allergens, such as dust mites or pet dander.

Baths With Hypo-Allergenic Shampoo

If you're looking to reduce your dog's exposure to allergens, you may want to consider giving them baths with hypoallergenic shampoo. There are a number of different brands on the market, so be sure to talk to your vet about which one would be best for your dog. Hypo-allergenic shampoos are designed to be gentle on your dog's skin and won't cause any further irritation. Additionally, a special shampoo may be prescribed to decrease the itching alongside an antibiotic to prevent infection.

Spray Their Body With Aloe And Oatmeal

Another option you may want to consider is spraying your dog's body with aloe and oatmeal. Aloe has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve itching and other symptoms of an allergy. Oatmeal is also a natural anti-inflammatory agent and can help soothe irritated skin. There are a number of different products available that combine aloe and oatmeal, so be sure to talk to your vet about which one would be best for your dog.

Give Your Dog Fish Oil Supplements

If your dog is suffering from grass allergies, one of the best things you can do is give fish oil supplements. Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to help reduce inflammation. This can help relieve some of the symptoms of an allergy, such as itching and swelling. Be sure to talk to your vet before starting your dog on fish oil supplements, as they may not be appropriate for all dogs.


Be sure to talk to your vet before starting your dog on fish oil supplements, as they may not be appropriate for all dogs.

Salmon Oil 

Dogs can't produce Omega-3 fatty acids on their own and must get them from their diet. Our Omega-rich Salmon Oil helps maintain your dog’s skin hydration, coat, joints and heart health. It’s also gentle on their tummy whilst supporting their brain development for vibrant ageing!

 

Benefits

  • Maintains skin, coat, digestive, heart, joint & cognitive health
  • May help protect against seasonal allergens, like pollen and dust
  • Helps boost coat growth and coat condition to reduce moulting.

Prescription Medication

Immunosuppresants

Immunosuppressants work by slowing down the immune system's response to the grass allergen. This can help to reduce or prevent symptoms. Your dog will typically need to take Immunosuppressants for several weeks before they start to work, and they may have some side effects such as nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea.

Antihistamines

Antihistamines work by blocking the action of histamines, which are chemicals that are released when the body reacts to an allergen. This can help to relieve symptoms, such as itching and sneezing. However, antihistamines can also cause drowsiness and dry mouth, so it's important to talk with your vet before starting this type of treatment.

Corticosteroids

The most common types of over-the-counter allergy medications for dogs are oral corticosteroids and nasal corticosteroids. Oral corticosteroids work by reducing inflammation in the body, while nasal corticosteroids help to reduce inflammation in the nose and sinuses.


Please consult your vet first if you’re considering giving your dog medication for their allergies.

Immunotherapy Injections


If your dog is suffering from grass allergies, your vet may prescribe immunotherapy injections. Immunotherapy is a type of treatment that helps to desensitise the dog to the allergen. It involves injecting them with small doses of the allergen over a period of time. This helps to train their immune system not to react to it. They are a relatively new treatment for grass allergies, and more research is needed to determine their long-term effectiveness.


While there are antihistamine pills and these injections available, it’s best to consult with your vet first.

 

Prevention of Grass Allergies In Dogs

Probiotics are live microorganisms that are similar to the ones naturally found in the gut. When given to dogs as supplements, probiotics can help prevent allergies by restoring the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut.


In addition, probiotics help to strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation. For dogs with allergies, probiotics can provide much-needed relief and allow them to lead happier, healthier lives.

Prevention of a grass allergy in dogs

Probiotics are live microorganisms that are similar to the ones naturally found in the gut. When given to dogs as supplements, probiotics can help prevent allergies by restoring the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut.


Probiotics also help to strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation. For dogs with grass allergies, probiotics can provide much-needed relief and allow them to lead happier, healthier lives.

Top Tip: Probiotics and Salmon Oil are the perfect combo for managing and preventing your dog’s grass allergies. Check out our cost-effective allergy bundle to keep your dog happy and healthy for less.

Final Thoughts

  • Your dog loves to play, but don't be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to exercising them without grass irritants.
  • Look for topical over-the-counter remedies containing aloe vera for skin relief.
  • If you notice symptoms only during certain times of the year, odds are your dog has a seasonal pollen allergy.
  • Seasonal allergies can morph into a year-round problem and additional health problems.
  • Allergies can turn into skin infections if your dog scratches his skin open