Warm, sunny spring days in the Pacific Northwest are nothing to sneeze at – unless you have seasonal allergies. But did you know your pet can also suffer from all the pollen in the air?

Just like humans, pets can also have seasonal allergies. Tree, grass, and weed pollen can cause the same symptoms in cats and dogs as they do in humans: sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, wheezing, coughing, and itchy skin that causes them to lick or bite their paws or other skin. Most of the time, these symptoms are harmless and end when the pollen count goes down. However, as with any health concern, you should check with your veterinarian. They may recommend medication or other measures in the worst cases.

Regular baths with a non-allergenic shampoo can help relieve itchy skin – but don’t do it too often, as baths can dry out sensitive skin.

When the pollen count is particularly high, keep your pet indoors, and limit strenuous outdoor activity. Exercising outside causes your pet to breathe more, exposing them to even more pollen. Plus, since they’re closer to the ground, pets may stir up pollen that has settled out of the air.

Even if your pet has never had seasonal allergies before doesn’t mean they can’t develop them as they get older. Be alert to symptoms of seasonal allergies, and discuss your observations with your veterinarian.

As always, if your pet has a serious medical emergency, call your veterinarian or take them to a 24-hour emergency vet.