of Americans have some sort of allergic reaction to dogs. Despite the prevalence of dog-related asthma, sneezing, itchy skin and hives, nearly half of US households have at least one pup. Pet lovers are clearly willing to endure their symptoms in order to enjoy the many benefits of sharing their lives with dogs. Luckily, there are several things these pawrents can do to help control their dog allergies.
What Causes Dog Allergies?
According to the Mayo Clinic, allergies occur when the immune system reacts to an allergy-triggering substance. For example, when a person with dog allergies encounters a pup, their body reacts to proteins in the hair and skin cells (dander). The immune system goes into defense mode, causing inflammation of the skin, sinuses, airways or digestive system.
The severity of the allergic reaction varies from person to person and can change throughout an individual’s life. Some may get an itchy rash while others suffer sinus pressure and sneezing. In rare cases, life-threatening asthma or deadly anaphylaxis can occur.
Before you blame your symptoms on your pup, see your doctor for allergy testing. You may find you are reacting to your dog’s shampoo or pollen on his fur, not the dog himself!
7 Ways To Help Control Your Dog Allergies
Studies have shown only one in five owners are willing to give up their pups due to allergies – even when their doctors recommend it. If allergy testing shows you are indeed allergic to your dog, there are several ways you can help minimize your symptoms and keep your pup!
11. Create an “Allergy-Free” Zone in Your Home.
The dander that causes dog allergies has a way of sticking to clothes, bedding, curtains and carpets. If possible, folks with allergies should restrict their dogs’ access to the bedroom. It may seem sad to give up nightly cuddles with your pup, but it’s better than having to give him up for good! Those with strong allergies should also invest in high-efficiency HEPA air cleaners to make sure dander from around the house does not drift into their “allergy-free” zone.