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Got Dog Allergies?

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Your daughter absolutely loves dogs and can’t help but to receive all the hugs and kisses from any dog she comes across, but every time she decides to pet one her eyes immediately begin to water, she sneezes, and her nose starts to run. Unfortunately, it sounds like she is allergic to dogs. 

Dog allergy symptoms include having red, itchy eyes, a stuffy nose, and constant sneezing or coughing. Others may have skin reactions that can cause itchy skin after physical contact with the dog. In severe conditions, one can develop hives in areas where they have been licked or touched. Depending on the sensitivity and severity of one’s dog allergies, symptoms can differ from person to person. 

The best way to determine whether or not you have a dog allergy is to visit your doctor. They may require you to take a skin-prick or blood test. Once the test is taken, your doctor can tell you what might have caused your body to react in a certain way. Dog allergies can also be treated with over the counter medication such as Benadryl, Claritin, and Zyrtec. Nasal sprays are also common to reduce inflammation.

The best way to prevent dog allergies (unfortunately) is to stay away from dogs as much as possible. Even if the dog is not present, someone who is allergic to dogs may react to allergies due to the dander, fur, saliva, urine and dead skin if present in the room. Pet dander can be found anywhere in your home, even if you cannot detect it yourself. If you have a dog at home and are allergic, there are several ways to reduce allergic reactions

• Avoid contact with the dog. Do not pet or hug the dog and avoid allowing the dog to lick your face. If you make any physical contact, be sure to wash your hands with soap and water.
• To keep allergen levels low, clean and vacuum the house regularly. This can remove and help reduce any existing fur and dander. 
• Keep the dogs away from certain areas, especially your bedroom. If weather persists, keep your dog outdoors during the day. 
• Groom and bathe your dog regularly to reduce dander and loose fur. This will not remove all dander but can reduce the number of airborne allergens that your dog can bring into your home. 
• Do laundry regularly and keep your clean clothes out of reach from the pets.

If these techniques are still giving you uncontrollable allergic reactions and prevents you from giving the attention your dog may need, you might want to consider giving your dog away or putting him or her up for adoption. This may not be the most desired option, but it may be the best decision for you and your family. 

If you or a family member loves dogs and cannot resist having one at home, another option is to adopt a hypoallergenic dog. Hypoallergenic dogs do not guarantee that you will be allergy-free, but it can reduce your symptoms and the allergens in your home. Hypoallergenic breeds that you might consider adopting are Bichon Frises, Shih Tzus, Yorkshire Terriers, Schnauzers, Malteses and Poodles. Be sure to do your research before bringing the new dog home. 

Winnie GohComment