Allergies to Dogs

By admin

Dog owners would dread the day that they develop allergies to dogs. Despite their doctor’s advice to get rid of their dogs, these dog lovers just can’t. The decision between keeping their dog and suffering allergies daily is heartbreakingly difficult. Humans become very attached to their canine companions and most would do anything not to give them away. 

If you are a dog owner maybe this would sound as a relief. Although getting rid of your dog can help sooth your allergies, it is not likely to solve the problem because pet allergens are everywhere, even in the homes of people who are not pet owners.
 
Causes

A common misconception about allergies to dogs and other pets is that allergies are caused by the animal fur. This is not true. In fact, people are allergic to proteins on the dog skin and saliva. These are known as lipoproteins which are scattered around the house as the dogs shed their fur.

Also, the ability of the dog to cause allergenic reactions is not determined by its breed or length of hair. Both hairless and short-haired dogs are capable of causing allergies just like the long-haired breeds.

Symptoms

People with dog allergies suffer from itchy and watery eyes, runny nose, asthma symptoms, nasal congestion, coughing, sneezing, a scratchy sore throat, red itchy skin or hives, headaches, and fatigue. If the person avoids contact with the dog for several days to weeks, many of these symptoms will subside. But when they come in contact again with their dog, their allergies will act up again.

Management

Animal dander from dogs floats around the home and attaches to walls, windows, and furniture. First, consider if you should still keep your dog, or let him go, just like the good doctor advised. But if you cannot bear breaking the emotional bond with your canine friend, you should just try to minimize the amount of allergens inside the house, and take it seriously.

Although there has been a buzz going on about “hypoallergenic” dogs, there is no proof that they exist in 100% non-allergenic form. But fortunately, some canine breeds do not cause as much allergies because of the type of hair that they have or the amount of hair that they shed. These breeds include curly-coated, hairless, low-shedding, and terrier-types.

Bathe your dogs regularly and keep them well-groomed. Brush your dogs daily and use an allergy-reducing spray such as Allerpet. This will get rid of large amounts of dander from their skin. Keep your dog’s skin healthy by feeding a good multivitamin and a fatty acid supplement. Also, try to keep your dog out of the house. Train your pets to sleep outside by creating a comfortable nook for them to sleep and eat. But if you can’t keep them out of the house, try at least to keep them out of your bedroom. Try to keep them off the furniture also and do not allow them in the car either. Wash your hands also after handling the dog.

In the home, use ample ventilation, and have a source of fresh air so that animal dander won’t be contained inside the house. Use a HEPA filtration system. Remove all forms of carpeting or fabric covered furniture, and instead opt for leather or vinyl covers that can be cleaned easily. As much as possible, do not use carpets for your flooring because they harbor large amounts of dust, dander, and other allergens. Opt for hardwood, vinyl, or linoleum floors instead.

If your allergies are severe, see your physician and discuss possible immunotherapy or medications.

Comments are closed.