Pollen is the fertilizing element of flowering plants. It is a fine powder which is released year round, although mainly in spring, from trees weeds and grasses. This powder rides currents of air, with the goal to fertilize other plants. This fertilization goal is not always achieved by each pollen grain. Unfortunately, for the allergy sufferers of the world, many of these grains are inhaled by humans or pets and are the cause for seasonal allergies.
If you find that your dog shows allergy symptoms in the spring, chances are they are allergic to pollen. Your first instinct may be to rid your yard of any pollen-producing plants. Don’t waste your time. Since pollen is carried long distances, often many miles, it does little good to remove pollen-producing plants from your yard. In fact, most allergic pollens come from plants like ragweed, which grows in open fields, and of which you have little control over.
Grasses and trees can also produce allergen-causing pollens. The grass species that produce highly allergic pollens are Bermuda grass, Johnson grass, Kentucky bluegrass, Orchard grass, Redtop grass, Sweet vernal grass and Timothy grass. Trees that produce allergic pollens are Ash, Box Elder, Elm, Hickory, Mountain Cedar, Oak, and Pecan.
Unless you plan to remove all pollen producing plants, weeds, grasses and trees in your 30-mile radius (or more on windy days!), there is little you can do to control pollen. However, there are some steps you can take to minimize your dog’s exposure to pollen. We’ll discuss this later when we review dog allergy treatments.