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Allergic to Your Dog?

Posted by Awesome Doggies

The love and companionship our pets provide us are both monumental and life changing, but when animal allergies strike, you may be left wondering what to do. When diagnosed with allergies, people often assume they have to get rid of their beloved pet. But if your symptoms aren’t life threatening, experiment with ways to minimize pet allergens in your home before deciding, “it’s me or the dog.”

 

Common Symptoms Seen In Pet Allergy Sufferers

Animal allergies are caused by our body's reaction to proteins that exist in the flaking skin of an animal. Common allergy symptoms dog owners experience include a running or congested nose, swollen and watering eyes, irritated and itching skin, or more seriously, breathing difficulties. If difficulty breathing is one of your allergy symptoms, don’t delay speaking with your physician, so your concerns can be addressed properly, without putting your health in danger. For less serious allergy symptoms, try the following strategies to reduce your exposure to pet-related allergens:

Ban Your Dog From The Bedroom

One of the biggest steps you can take to reduce your exposure to pet dander is to ban your dog from the bedroom. When you consider the amount of time we spend sleeping, you'll realize that allowing an animal to join you in bed tremendously increases the amount of time you are exposed to their allergens. Even allowing the dog on your bed, even if it's infrequently, could lead to months of allergy woes for you, your children, or your spouse. Pet dander tends to lodge deep in blankets and other bedding. 

Keep Your Dog Bathed & Well Groomed

Frequent baths and regular grooming remove dander straight from the source: the family dog. Brushing (best if done by a non-allergic family member) encourages a healthy coat and keeps him or her, looking shiny and well-groomed, and reduces loose hair, which can be another source of irritation. If your pet naturally has a long coat, maintaining them in a shorter haircut may help, especially if you are not bathing them as frequently as you could. Shorter hair means there is less "real estate" available to collect and hold allergens.

Baths and brushing can be a chore assigned to a non-allergic family member (got older kids?), or hire a professional groomer. Weekly grooming may be most beneficial, but any increase in frequency over your current practices will reduce the amount of pet dander in your environment. If you don’t have time to take the dog to a groomer yourself, a mobile groomer can come to your home, saving you time & hassle.  

Clean Everything!

In addition to keeping the dog clean, keep your dog’s bedding, and your home environment scrupulously clean. Launder your dog's bedding frequently, since it's bound to contain pet dander and other debris. Wash your hands after contact with the animal, each and every time, and vacuum your home often. If possible, use a HEPA filter to remove allergens from the air.

 

We hope you find a solution that keeps your symptoms at a manageable level, and allows your dog or cat to remain a part of the family.  And of course, before considering getting rid of your dog, be absolutely sure that it’s your dog and not other types of allergens that are causing your misery.

 


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