There's nothing worse than brushing past stinging nettles while on a walk and then experiencing that irritating itchy sensation that follows.

The plant can cause rashes, itchiness and pain among humans, but does the nuisance nettle affect dogs?

Dog owners may think their four-legged friends' fur coat may be enough to protect them from stinging nettles, but this is not the case. 

Can a dog be stung by stinging nettles?

Just like humans, dogs are also susceptible to stinging nettles.

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Pet food company, Pure explains: "Your pooch can still be stung by nettles through their fur and suffer the same horrible itchy feeling and pain from a sting as we humans do.

"You might even notice your dog’s skin becomes red and swollen, and they might break out into hives.

"Areas of your dog’s body which have little to no fur, like their belly, are particularly vulnerable to stinging nettle stings because there’s no thick coat to protect the skin."

How to spot your dog has been stung by stinging nettles

Pure said there are a number of symptoms that dogs show if they have come into contact with stinging nettles.

These symptoms include: 

  • Pawing at their face and ears
  • Chewing and licking their paws
  • Red, swollen skin
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Constricted pupils
  • Shivering
  • Twitching
  • Myokymia (eyelid twitching)
  • Weakness
  • Ataxia (lack of coordination)

A dog that has suffered from multiple stings from nettles, or repeated stinging in a short period of time can suffer more serious symptoms.

The Bolton News: There are a number of ways you can ease your dogs discomfort from a stinging nettle at home.There are a number of ways you can ease your dogs discomfort from a stinging nettle at home. (Image: Getty Images)

If your dog eats stinging nettles, it is likely they will experience some discomfort and mild gastrointestinal illness, Pure added.

Signs that your dog has eaten nettles include:

  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Drooling
  • Dilated pupils
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Ataxia

What to do if your dog is stung by stinging nettles

Pure assured owners that "stinging nettle stings are rarely serious and most dogs make a full recovery within a day".

The Bolton News: Stinging nettle stings are rarely serious and dogs usually recover within a day.Stinging nettle stings are rarely serious and dogs usually recover within a day. (Image: PA)

They also said: "Stinging nettle stings usually only cause dermatitis, and the discomfort and itching will clear up within a few hours, alongside any symptoms like hives.

"Although your pooch will be feeling uncomfortable after a stinging nettle sting, it will usually go away on its own and veterinary treatment is rarely required."

The pet food company said there are also a number of things you can try at home to relieve your four-legged friend's discomfort caused by a stinging nettle.

These include:

  • You can give your dog a gentle bath
  • Rub a paste of baking soda and water onto the area your dog has been stung (make sure your dog can’t lick it off and wash it off thoroughly after a few minutes)

However Pure said: "If you’re worried or want to help relieve your dog’s discomfort, it’s always best to ask your vet for advice."