Tree and grass pollens – hints and tips

Quit that Itch has just relaunched for 2018. It’s been a cold winter but pollen might soon be on the up.  It’s time to plan ahead…

There’s everything you loved last year and more in the Quit That Itch campaign, including a new guide to help you provide support for those dogs with itchy skin. To get you up and running, here are a few tips when it comes to tree and grass pollens.

  • Tracking online pollen counts in relation to flare ups may be useful in helping to predict them and identify consistent patterns. If there is a pattern then this may allow appropriate action to be taken – such as limiting outdoor access and wiping down the coat after being outside to remove pollens stuck to the coat.
  • Dogs are not always allergic to the same allergens as people tend to be allergic to but pollen forecasts give some indication as to when there are the greatest amount of airborne pollens from different plants.
  • There can be a wide variation between different zones based on climate, vegetation and pollination and checking out the threat specific to the local area can be very useful. For badly affected dogs it may be feasible for owners to arrange walks in lower pollen areas, such as coastal locations.
  • Regular baths can help remove pollens from the coat and hydrate the skin. Washing bedding can also be beneficial.
  • Essential fatty acid supplements can help support the skin barrier function and help prevent pollens from coming into contact with immune cells in the dermis.

The Met Office produces 5-day pollen forecasts and considers the greatest risks from tree pollen to occur between late March to mid-May, grass pollen from mid-May to July and weed pollen from the end of June to September.