Pollen is a remarkably sticky substance, and a Yorkie is just the right size to pick up a whole coat-load of the stuff as he plows through vegetation. The long trailing fur doesn’t help much, either. Try a few pollen avoidance tricks to stop him triggering allergies after every walk.
Mow your lawn, if you have one and your Yorkie has access. Long grass goes to seed and produces pollen, while lawn weeds produce a little when they flower.
Check the pollen count each day. The pollen that gets all over the place doesn’t usually come from bright flowers -- it comes from the inconspicuous ones of grasses and some trees, which use the wind and passing animals rather than insects for pollination. If the count is particularly high, consider postponing your walk until the mid afternoon or playing with your dog inside instead.
Choose your route carefully. Don’t walk your Yorkie past long grass that is flowering -- showing the feathery, wheat-like bits -- and definitely don’t let him explore it. Cut grass is fine, and so is long grass if it isn’t flowering. Colorful flowers aren’t a real problem.
Wash his feet and the bottom of his legs in a shallow bowl after each walk, if he or another member of the household has an allergy. This is where much of the pollen is likely to stick.
Wash his entire body in the shower if he has become covered in pollen. Groom him first and proceed as you normally do for a bath, but use less shampoo -- or none at all -- if you need to do this a lot. Alternatively, wipe the pollen off with a damp cloth.
Take him for a haircut when the weather begins to warm. This will be more comfortable and pick up less pollen and other debris outside. Alternatively, trim his coat yourself with a set of clippers, although be warned that if you have little experience, you are liable to end up with an extremely scraggy-looking dog.
Observe your dog closely during the pollen season, watching for signs of itching, respiratory problems or general discomfort. If you suspect that your dog has a pollen or other allergy, arrange an appointment with your vet.
- Do not try to treat a suspected dog allergy with over-the-counter pet or human remedies yourself, not even herbal ones. These can be very dangerous to dogs, especially small ones like Yorkies.
Judith Willson has been writing since 2009, specializing in environmental and scientific topics. She has written content for school websites and worked for a Glasgow newspaper. Willson has a Master of Arts in English from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.