Hay fever warning issued for pets – these are the types worst affected

As the pollen count hits a 12-year high it is not just us humans who are suffering sniffles.

Pets can also develop hay fever and symptoms can include sneezing, itchy skin, runny noses, painful ears and, in dogs, incessant feet chewing.

Summer can make life even more miserable for animals already dealing with allergens such as pollens and flea saliva, at their height in the warmest months.

Staffordshire bull terriers, English bulldogs and labrador/golden retrievers are the three types most likely to develop hay fever symptoms, said Animal Friends pet insurance.

One of its vets said: “Dogs develop intensely itchy skin and painful ears, often chewing their feet until they are red and raw.

“Many can get allergic skin disease when exposed to inhaled pollens but, unlike their owners, don’t tend to consistently respond to anti-histamines.

“Treatments are individual to the patient, depending on severity and symptom pattern, but generally a combination of drugs to reduce itching, anti-biotics, medicated shampoos, essential fatty acids, hypoallergenic food trials or immunotherapy can work.”

Cats also suffer a range of allergies but it is rare for them to get human-like symptoms such as sneezing and watery eyes.

Animal Friends said pollen is more likely to make them cough due to feline asthma.

Some cats learn to tolerate inhalers just like people.

Allergies can be a costly business with the insurance firm data revealing the average annual bill relating to hay fever comes to £233 for dogs and £169 for cats.

Eight ways to ease allergies

1. Visit your vet to ensure that your pet has the correct diagnosis and treatment.

2. Give your dog a cool bath.

3. Do not keep flowers and plants in the house.

4. Keep your pet out of the way when you cut the lawn.

5. Clip your dog’s coat if he has long hair.​

6. Restrict your pet’s time outdoors when pollen counts are high.

7. Run the air conditioner overnight to filter pollen out of your home environment.

8. Wash your pet’s bedding weekly with hot water and make sure you dry them completely.

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