What to do to help with dog allergies
It is worth it to preserve the bond between you and your pet by checking if you are truly allergic to your pet and, if you are, to attempt these solutions. Join the large number of animal lovers who manage their allergies and live happily and healthily with their beloved pets.
Avoidance is the best way to manage a dog allergy. If you own a dog and are allergic to dogs, consider removing the dog from the home.
If you own a dog but don’t desire to discover it a new home, or if your family wants a dog even though someone in the household is allergic, here are some strategies that may assist hold symptoms at bay:
- Don’t pet, hug or kiss the dog; if you do, wash your hands with soap and water.
- Regular use of a high-efficiency vacuum cleaner or a central vacuum can reduce allergen levels.
- Keep the dog out of your bedroom and restrict it to only a few rooms.
Be advised that keeping the dog in only one room will not limit the allergens to that room.
- High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) cleaners run continuously in a bedroom or living room can reduce allergen levels over time.
- Giving your dog a bath at least once a week can reduce airborne dog allergen.
Treatments for dog allergy vary, depending on the symptoms.
Your allergist can assist determine what treatment would be best to treat your dog allergy. Nasal symptoms are often treated with steroid nasal sprays, oral antihistamines or other oral medications.
Eye symptoms are often treated with antihistamine eyedrops. Respiratory or asthma symptoms can be treated with inhaled corticosteroids or bronchodilators to either prevent or relieve respiratory symptoms.
Allergy shots (immunotherapy) are an effective treatment of allergies by building tolerance over time through gradually injecting increasing doses of an allergen.
Is there an allergy-free dog?
While poodles, Portuguese water dogs and a number of other breeds (including several types of terriers) own a reputation for being hypoallergenic, a truly allergy-free breed does not exist.
A 2011 study compared dust samples from homes with dog breeds reported to be hypoallergenic and those of homes with other dogs. The levels of dog allergen in homes with “hypoallergenic” dogs did not differ from the levels in homes with other breeds.
This sheet was reviewed for accuracy 4/23/2018.
Am I allergic to my dog?
A dog is man’s best friend — that is, unless the man is allergic to his dog.
Pet allergies are common in the United States.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 15 to 30 percent of every Americans are affected.
Although allergies to cats are about twice as common, allergic reactions to dogs tend to be more severe. This is especially the case in those with asthma.
Keep reading to study about lifestyle changes and medications that can assist treat dog allergies.
Understand your pet allergies
It is significant to see a doctor and be tested to determine what allergies you actually own. You may discover that you’re allergic to something else and not your pet at all! For example, you may assume that you are allergic to your beloved dog, only to discover out through an allergy test that you’re actually allergic to a specific tree pollen that got on his fur during a stroll together, and that’s actually what’s bothering you.
If an allergy test shows that you are allergic to your pet, it is significant to understand what causes your allergic reaction to them.
There are allergy-triggering proteins called allergens in saliva and skin glands that cling to an animal’s dry skin (dander) and fur. The fur and dander then stick to walls, carpets and clothing.
The reaction of someone to these allergens is diverse from one person to the next.
The reaction may range from mild sniffling and sneezing to life-threatening asthma. The reaction can be made worse if a person is additionally exposed to other things he is allergic too, such as pollen, dust mites, cigarette smoke, and mold.
Whether someone has an allergic reaction depends on both the individual person and the individual animal. A person with animal allergies may react less to dogs with soft, constantly growing hair, or one specific cat or dog may cause more or less of an allergic reaction than another animal of that same breed.
You may hear claims about breeds of dogs and cats that are non-allergenic (don’t cause an allergic reaction) or cats and dogs that are hypoallergenic (cause less of an allergic reaction).
However, even hairless breeds may cause a severe allergic reaction.
How to treat dog allergies
The only surefire way to get rid of a pet allergy is to remove the pet from your home. There are, however, ways to minimize your exposure to allergens and lessen your symptoms if you don’t desire to part with Fluffy.
Here are some medications and treatments that can assist you manage allergies and asthma:
- Nasal corticosteroids such as Flonase (now available over the counter) or Nasonex may reduce inflammation and control symptoms.
- Allergy shots (immunotherapy) expose you to the animal protein (allergen) that’s causing the reaction and assist your body become less sensitive, reducing symptoms.
Shots are given by an allergist and are often used in more severe cases for long-term treatment.
- Antihistamines are over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as Benadryl, Claritin, Allegra, and Clarinex OTC that can assist relieve itching, sneezing, and runny nose.
- Cromolyn sodium is an OTC nasal spray that may assist reduce symptoms, especially if it’s used before they develop.
- Decongestants make it easier to breathe by shrinking swollen tissues in the nasal passage. These are available in oral form or as a nasal spray.
- Leukotriene modifiers, such as the prescription tablet montelukast (Singulair), may be recommended if you can’t tolerate nasal antihistamines or corticosteroids.
Some people with dog allergies may discover that a saline (salt water) rinse daily to clear nasal passages of allergens can assist.
A “nasal lavage” can control symptoms such as congestion and postnasal drip.
OTC saline sprays and nasal lavage kits are readily available. You can also make your own by mixing 1/8 teaspoon of table salt with distilled water.
There are several things dog owners can do around the home to reduce allergens. They include:
- bathing the dog weekly using a pet-friendly shampoo (done by a non-allergic person)
- looking into hypoallergenic dog breeds
- setting up dog-free zones (certain rooms, such as a bedroom, where the dog is not allowed)
- using high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) purifiers to reduce airborne allergens in the home
- keeping the dog exterior (only in certain climates in a well-contained area and under humane conditions)
- removing carpeting, upholstered furniture, horizontal blinds, curtains, and any other items that may attract dander
- using a trial period when introducing a new pet to the family to assess family members’ reactions to the new dog
What causes dog allergies?
Dogs secrete proteins that finish up in their dander (dead skin), saliva, and urine.
An allergic reaction occurs when a sensitive person’s immune system reacts abnormally to the generally harmless proteins. Diverse breeds produce diverse dander, so it’s possible to be more allergic to some dogs than others.
The allergen eventually finds its way into the animal’s fur. From there, it collects in carpets, on clothing, on walls, and between sofa cushions. The pet hair itself is not an allergen, but the hair can hold dust and dander.
Pet dander can remain airborne for endless periods of time as well.
It can eventually discover its way into your eyes or lungs.
Symptoms of dog allergies
The symptoms of a dog allergy may range from mild to severe. Symptoms may not appear for several days after exposure in people with low sensitivity.
Some clues you may be allergic to dogs include:
- redness of the skin after being licked by a dog
- rash on the face, neck, or chest
- swelling and itching in the membranes of the nose or around the eyes
- coughing, shortness of breath, or wheezing within 15 to 30 minutes of exposure to allergens
- a severe asthma attack (in someone with asthma)
Children with dog allergies will often develop eczema in addition to the above symptoms.
Eczema is a painful inflammation of the skin.
People used to believe that exposing a newborn to the family dog could cause a kid to develop a pet allergy.
Thankfully for dog owners, the opposite appears to be true. Several studies in the past few years — including one published in the — own found that exposing a baby to a pet doesn’t increase the risk of developing allergies or asthma. It may actually protect the kid from developing them in the future.
Reduce the allergens and your symptoms
If you are allergic to your pet and your reactions aren’t life-threatening, there are numerous ways to reduce indoor allergens and allergy symptoms so you and your pet can live together more comfortably.
If your or a family member’s allergies are simply miserable, but not life-threatening, take these five steps to reduce the symptoms:
Create an «allergy free» zone in your home—preferably the allergic person’s bedroom—and strictly prohibit the pet’s access to it. Use a high-efficiency HEPA air cleaner, and consider using impermeable covers for the mattress and pillows.
Use HEPA air cleaners throughout the relax of the home, and avoid dust-and-dander-catching furnishings such as cloth curtains and blinds and carpeted floors. Clean frequently and thoroughly to remove dust and dander, washing articles such as sofa covers and pillows, curtains, and pet beds.
Bathe your pet on a weekly basis to reduce the level of allergy-causing dander (shed ancient skin cells). Cats can get used to being bathed, but it’s critical to only use products labeled for them; kittens may need a shampoo safe for kittens. Check with your veterinarian’s staff or a excellent book on pet care for directions about safe bathing, It’s a excellent thought to use a shampoo recommended by your veterinarian or other animal care professional.
4. Don’t be quick to blame the family pet for allergies. Enquire your allergist to specifically test for allergies to pet dander.
Numerous allergy sufferers are sensitive to more than one allergen. Reduce the overall allergen level in your environment by concentrating on every of the causes, not just the pet allergy.
5. Attempt treatments. Additional treatments for allergies to pets are include immunotherapy (allergy shots), steroidal and antihistamine nose sprays and antihistamine pills. It is significant to discover an allergist who understands your commitment to living with your pet. A combination of approaches—medical control of symptoms, excellent housecleaning methods, and immunotherapy—is most likely to succeed in allowing an allergic person to live with pets.