Sneezing, Scratching & Allergies … Oh My!

dog is scratching because do dogs get allergies

Allergy season can really be any times of the year, not just spring. And with the change of seasons comes pet allergies. The itching, sneezing, and scratching that affects many of us, also affects our pets with seasonal allergies.

As pet owners you may notice the symptoms of dog allergies. While some dog breeds are more susceptible to allergies than others, you’ll know the signs. Some chew at their feet, paw at their eyes, or scratch all over.

If you notice your pet doing these things, they too may have seasonal allergies and/or environmental allergies. Here’s what to symptoms of allergies to look for.

Dog Allergy Symptoms

Foot Chewing

Many people notice their pets chewing on their feet this time of year. Using a damp cloth to wipe their feet after they come inside may help to reduce the pollen buildup on their paws and help alleviate itching. Talk to your vet if there’s hair loss or scaly skin as this could be dermatitis.


Skin allergies are common among certain breeds. Pets may scratch themselves or rub their ears and bodies along furniture and carpets if they have itchy skin. It could be as a result of an allergic reaction to flea saliva from a flea bite.

If it’s not a flea allergy, using gentle cleansing cloths may help remove pollen, dust, or dander that irritates your pets skin. Omega-3 fatty acids such as fish oil may help to strengthen and protect your dog’s skin and reduce the itching during allergy season as well.


Pets may experience increased sneezing and runny nose, just like humans during allergy season. If your pet seems to experience excessive sneezing, limit the time they spend outdoors in grassy or wooded areas until most of the pollen is gone or until a good rain washes most of it away.


Scooting is when your dog drags their bottom across the ground to relieve the itchiness they are suffering from down there. It is a common sign of food allergies. Ask your veterinarian to evaluate your dog’s diet. They might recommend an elimination diet in order to find out what allergens your dog’s immune system is rejecting.

What do I do about my dog’s allergies?


Allergic dogs may need consultation with your vet or a veterinary dermatologist for recommendations on medications, like antihistamines, they can use to treat or prevent allergies. They will conduct allergy testing and skin testing for a flea allergy, environmental allergens, and more.

In severe cases, your DVM might recommend your pet get regular allergy shots (also known as immunotherapy) or changing your dog food.

If you don’t do something about your dog’s allergies soon, their irritated skin could lead to secondary infections like bacterial infection, skin infection (like yeast), or ear infection.

Ilana Halperin, DVM, from the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, urges pet owners to remember that while allergies cannot be cured, they can be managed. And management is going to be key in alleviating your pet’s allergies.