1471943540052See our very own Dr Eleanor Hall in the Canberra Times discussing this topic here.

While a new survey done by McCrindle consumer research showed that a quarter of Canberrans suffer from hay fever, our furry friends can be affected too.

Canine atopy, the most common skin disorder that affects dogs other than fleas, is an allergic reaction most commonly due to pollen (but can be triggered by other allergens such as mould and dust mites) and impacts about 10 per cent of the dog population.

Symptoms start with runny noses, sneezing, lethargy, rubbing, licking, red skin and scratching, but could lead to difficulty breathing and collapse if not treated correctly.

Animals often become distressed by constant and persistent itching and respiratory signs; chronic sufferers can be affected by sleep deprivation.

Vets can prescribe a variety of medications for allergies – and there are some fantastic new medicines that have just been released which are proving to be very successful in alleviating dogs’ suffering.

Rinsing feet and body with salty water after a walk can help to remove allergens directly in-contact with the skin.

Of course, it is important for owners to seek medical help for their own allergies as well as for their furry buddies’.