Healing for Dogs - dog health - Applied Zoopharmacognosy can help reduce the symptoms of canine hayfever applied zoopharmacognosy Bournemouth, Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire, New Forest (copyright Self Selection For Animals)Some dogs are prone to hayfever just like humans. If you notice that your dog is sneezing, scratching more vigorously than usual, has runny eyes or nose, is rubbing their face on the carpet or furniture or is chewing at their paws, there is a good chance that they are being affected by allergens. Pollens from trees, grass, weeds and flowering plants are the main culprits in spring and summer. If you notice your dog experiencing these symptoms at other times of the year, they may be allergic to dust mites. Some of the ideas listed below can help with dust mite allergies as well.

Some dog breeds, such as Boston terriers, Cairn terriers, Scottish terriers, West Highland terriers, wire-haired terriers, Dalmatians, Irish setters, poodles and schnauzers may be more prone to developing canine hayfever than other purebred or mixed-breed dogs. Although symptoms of canine hayfever can develop at any point in a dog’s life, they are most likely to begin when your pet is between 1 and 3 years old.

As with any pet care, if you are concerned about the symptoms your dog is experiencing, please ask your vet for advice. There are anti-histamine medications available for your dog, that suppress the allergic response in the body, but for those of you who prefer a more natural approach there are ways that Applied Zoopharmacognosy can help to bring relief to your dog, if it is experiencing the symptoms of canine hayfever.

Here are five practical and holistic steps you can take to make your dog more comfortable this summer:


  1. Soothing the symptoms – Applied Zoopharmacognosy enables an animal to self-select their own natural remedies. Some essential oils such as German Chamomile, Great Mugwort (blue) and Flouve have anti-histamine properties that can help to reduce the symptoms of canine hayfever in dogs. These may be inhaled, or licked by your dog according to their preference and may also be applied to the coat and skin in cases where the skin is itchy. Essential oils such as Peppermint, Yarrow (blue), Sweet Orange and Sandalwood may also be self-selected for a topical application in an aloe vera gel, alongside the anti-histamine oils, helping to soothe the skin and reduce the itch. The key is to let your dog choose how, where and how often they would like to receive their chosen remedies.


  1. Boosting your dog’s immune system – Allergic reactions can be helped by improving the overall health of your dog. Applied Zoopharmacognosy can be helpful here too. Boosting omega levels by offering Flax Seed oil or Hemp Seed oil separately to food can help the body’s immune system to cope with the allergic reaction. Other oils such as olive oil, sunflower oil and Calendula are often seen to be popular with dogs who have skin allergies. Spirulina, a well recognised super food containing a wealth of vitamins and minerals, as well as Barley Grass which is also mineral rich, are frequently seen to be self-selected by dogs experiencing a range of allergies, including canine hayfever. The benefit of offering these natural remedies separately to food is that it allows your dog to choose how much of each remedy they need on a daily basis and this brings the fastest and most effective results. Your dog knows what they need to restore and balance their own health!


  1. Walking your dog – If your dog does have canine hayfever it may help if you are able to avoid taking your dog for a walk when the pollen count is very high, especially if it is a windy day when the pollen particles are dispersed over a wider area.

    Keeping your dog away from longer grass and vegetation can also reduce the amount of pollen they come into contact with.

           The Met Office provide a 5 day forecast for the pollen count across the UK to help you to plan ahead.

  1. Identify which allergens are affecting your dog – By monitoring when your dog is most affected and where you have been walking, can help to give clues as to the source of the irritation for your canine companion. The UK pollen count season is usually seen to affect animals and people between March and August. However, it can start as early as January and end as late as November! Bear in mind that there are seasonal anomalies e.g. if there is an unusually warm spring or autumn. By keeping a record of your dog’s symptoms, it may be possible to identify and then avoid areas that are adversely affecting your dog when you are out for a walk.

To help you to potentially identify what your dog may be allergic to, the pollen season separates into three:

Tree pollen – late March to mid-May.

Grass pollen – mid-May to July.

Weed pollen – end of June to September


5. Grooming and bathing – Immediately after a walk, wipe your dog over with a damp towel to help remove any pollen clinging to the coat. Starting with the face, wipe around the eyes and ears, paying special attention if your dog has long hair. Wipe the legs and paws last of all, where your dog may have been running on or through grass and therefore coming into direct contact with pollen particles.

Daily grooming after a walk can also significantly reduce the amount of allergens in your dog’s coat. Trimming any excess hair can help to make the anti-allergen regime easier for all involved! Bathing your dog once a week with a mild shampoo helps to rinse pollen particles away from the skin. Cool water is better than warm water for bathing, as warm water may actually increase any itching. Putting a few handfuls of colloidal oatmeal that is designed for bathing, into the water, can be really soothing for hot, itchy skin.

Washing bedding and dog towels regularly can also help and the dreaded hoovering … the floors and soft furnishings … not your pet ..! can help to keep airborne particles at bay. If you have a dehumidifier or air purifier, running these each day can make a huge difference in reducing the pollen and dust in your home.


Many other species of animals may experience the symptoms of hayfever or have allergic responses that would benefit from a holistic approach. Please get in touch if you would like to know more about how Applied Zoopharmacognosy can help to keep your pet happy, healthy and comfortable throughout the year.