Do you think you might have a dog allergy? If it’s true, you’ll probably find it quite upsetting to know that you are allergic to your beloved pet.
First Make Sure it Is a Dog Allergy.
The first thing you’ll want to do is make certain it is a dog allergy. Sometimes, what looks like a pet allergy might really be an allergy to something else or even another illness like the flu or a cold. People who are allergic to their dog can have a runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, postnasal drip, have a skin rash, or have difficulty breathing. If the symptoms are severe, last a long time or even if you just want to confirm that you do have a dog allergy, schedule a visit with a healthcare professional who can perform a skin test to determine what allergies you may have..
Did you know that living with an indoor dog can actually help a child to be safer from allergies? There is a chemical that dogs release called endotoxin that actually helps the immune system to develop which is beneficial for children. People who have a dog allergy have usually developed this sensitivity by being in contact with a dog after their immune system has already developed.
While dogs may be man’s best friend, a dog allergy can be very difficult for anyone to live with if they love their pet. If it is a dog allergy and if your symptoms are severe enough you may have to consider removing the dog from your home. This can be a heartbreaking option but it you could give it to a friend or family member so you would not lose contact completely.
What can a person do in order to treat this sensitivity, other than send their pet away? Well if you do choose to keep your dog with you, there is a lot you can do to reduce your symptoms.
Dog Allergy – Reduce Your Exposure To The Allergen
The chemical that causes a dog allergy usually comes from their saliva and not their skin. This is unlike a cat allergy, which is usually triggered by cat hair and dander. A dog’s saliva contains albumin, which causes an allergic reaction in many. So obviously the first thing you need to do when you have a dog allergy is keep the dog from licking your hands and face! When the dog licks themselves this sticky protein is deposited on their hair along with dead skin cells. When the dog hair comes into contact with dust, clothing, curtains, furniture, or you, the protein will stick to the surface of the object. After playing or wrestling with your dog, this saliva can trigger an allergic reaction that lasts for hours.
Even though your dog allergy is probably not caused by his skin or hair, be sure to bathe the dog at least once or twice per week. This removes allergens that are clinging to his skin and fur.
It’s important to keep your dog or dogs from your bedroom. The bedroom is the room where we spend the most of our time. For that reason, your puppy or dog should be kept out of your bedroom. Doing so, may lessen symptoms you have. It can also help to get you a good night of sleep. It is also important to think about the other rooms where you spend a lot of your time. Consider keeping your dog or dogs out of those rooms as well.
It also helps to keep the dog is outside as much as possible. When the dog is indoors he will spread the allergen all around the house that much more. (I know this is so much easier said than done, my two little dogs always want to be in the same room as me!)
Another great tip involves not letting your dog climb in your furniture. This is particularly important if you want to lie down on your couch or rest in a reclining chair. You do not want to get pet allergens on your face. If you must, covers may be used. There are a number of cloth style covers which can be used. They are a great alternative to the unattractive plastic covers. With that in mind, should you use cloth covers, make sure you wash them every day or two or when too much pet hair accumulates.
Investing in an air purifier is another way you can seek relief from your dog allergy, without having to find a new home for your beloved pet. Air purifiers work through the elimination of air particles, including pet dander. It’s a good idea if you search online for air purifiers that are designed to help with those allergies. These air purifiers can easily be found with a standard internet search. Also, HEPA air filters and HEPA air cleaners are known for their amazing results.
Keeping your home scrupulously clean is a must when you have a dog allergy. Steam clean your carpets once or twice per year. Vacuum daily but remember that most vacuums will blow the smaller particles of dust back into the air through the exhaust so you will need to get a vacuum that has some type of HEPA filter that traps microscopic particles of dust from being blown back into the air.
It can also help to remove the carpeting in your house in as many rooms as possible; opt for hardwood floors in various rooms. The less carpet you have, the less allergens will stay in the home.
The truth is, there are even some vacuum cleaners which are built especially for pet owners. These can be a marvelous help in reducing your symptoms.
It also helps to make sure the dog is outside as much as possible. When the dog is indoors he will spread the allergen all around the house that much more.
The above steps are a few of the various steps that you can take to seek respite from allergies that you may be suffering on account of close contact with your dog. As reminder, your doctor may be able to prescribe you allergy shots or an antihistamine or recommend over-the-counter products that may work just as well. With that said, remember that treating a dog allergy naturally is generally much safer.