The symptoms and treatment of dog allergies will not be the same for every dog or every person. And although there is no cure for allergies, there are treatments that can make life easier for dogs and people.
This page is dedicated to solving human allergies to dogs, but we also cover the symptoms and treaments for dogs with allergies.
If you're a person allergic to dogs, you might be surprised to know that there may be a certain breed of dog more suitable for you and one that might be more apt to produce fewer allergens. Many people call these Hypoallergenic dog breeds and while we don't want to disagree completely, these breeds will not be the answer for every allergy sufferer.
You may have even heard that Non Shedding Dogs are hypoallergenic, but this is not necessarily true either. Because while some people are allergic to dander and the logic of owning a non-shedding dog might work, in theory, the fact is that many people are actually allergic to the secretions from glands in the dog's mouth, namely the proteins in saliva and mucus.
Symptoms can range from mild to severe and include:
Runny or stuffy nose
Itchy or watery eyes
Skin reactions like hives or swelling
Shortness of Breath
These symptoms can be dangerous to some, like children with asthma, but dog allergies are not typically life-threatening and are more of an aggrevation than a danger.
Pet allergies can arise from nowhere and many people develop them because of heredity. If you have any family history of dog allergies, you may one day develop this same affliction and while most pet allergies are actually cat-related, you could wake up tomorrow with an allergy to the dog that has lived in your home for years.
In fact, if you have a family history to any type of allergen in your family tree, it might be wise to try to stave off any looming dormant allergies by investing an air purifier. Air purifiers have other advantages as well and they are doctor recommended for anyone with current allergies to airborne particles, like pollen, mold and yes even dander and saliva-contaminated dander.
If you've ever looked into a beam of sunlight in your home and noticed the dust particles that float through the air you're breathing, these tiny particles aren't just fibers and dirt. The dust in our homes is made up of all sorts of nasty things like dust mites, dander, dead skin cells from both human and animal, mold, pollen, bacteria and lots of other unpleasantries that a good air purifier can remove almost completely.
We use an
Oreck AirInstinct HEPA Air Purifier
like the one pictured on the right and it literally does pull 99.7% of dust from the air like a magnet.
Here are a few more easy ways to treat and decrease your dog allergy symptoms:
The most obvious way to avoid allergy symptoms is to avoid the allergens that trigger them, but since we as dog lovers couldn't face the world without a furry friend, consider testing your tolerance starting with the Non Shedding Dog Breeds first.
If you have a certain breed in mind and would like to test your tolerance, there is probably no easy way to do this. The only possibility aside from knowing someone who has a particular breed is to contact a rescue group specializing in that breed. Explain your dog allergy situation and ask if it would be possible to visit one of the animals outside of their home. You would also need to ask them to bathe the dog first to ensure that the dog isn't carrying contaminants on him from other animals in the home. Rescue groups are always anxious to find their dogs forever homes. Any one of them should be more than happy to introduce you to one of their dogs.
If you find that any one certain dog breed is easier to tolerate than another, there are several ways to decrease or even diminish even the most mild of symptoms.
Here are a few of those ways:
Bathe your dog or rinse in plain warm water once/week.
Invest in an air purifier like this Oreck AirInstinct HEPA Air Purifier
Keep your dog out of your bedroom
Confine your dog to one room only
Talk to an allergist about the possibility of allergy shots and/or otc medications.
And finally, treat your dog's allergies.
The worst breeds of dogs for an allergy sufferer can actually be the dog breeds who are themselves prone to allergies. The symptoms themselves that dogs exhibit when they have allergies can actually be a catalyst for the symptoms they cause us. Learn more about what might be causing your dog's allergies to help reduce the sneezing, incessant scratching, licking paws, and pulling out of fur that can stir up the very allergens that trigger our own symptoms.
Learn more about dog allergies and hypoallergenic dogs here and discover why owning a mixed breed might be the best choice for allergy sufferers.