Allergies can be quite frustrating at times especially when they involve our furry little friends. Below are some things to help you understand the reason for these allergies and what we can do to improve them.
An Allergen is any substance that can cause an allergy. It is often a protein such as those found in a dog’s saliva or dander.
Dander is the dry skin that flakes off the body. It floats through the air and induces classic allergy symptoms such as coughing or sneezing.
A dog that barks excessively can create a higher level of allergen dispersal as barking causes the dog’s saliva and dander to be projected into the air.
Additional sources of allergens can come from your dog leaving behind fecal matter, or urine.
Dogs that have access to outside may also introduce allergens such as mould and pollen into your indoor environment. If you have a larger dog, then these animals can track in more of these allergens.
Allergens are associated with the dander produced by the dog’s body and not the dog itself or the dog’s hair. Also the length of a dog’s hair does not predict whether or not the dog will cause allergies.
What You Can Do
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to make life easier if you do have allergies and you live with a dog that triggers them.
- Vacuum your home daily with a HEPA filter vaccum cleaner
- Open the windows occasionally to let the airborne pet allergens out but avoid doing this when the pollen count outside is high
- Avoid touching your eyes
- Wash your hands regularly especially after playing with the dog
- Have other members of the household, other than the one who is affected by allergens, clean the home
- Brush your dog daily especially after they come in from being outside as pollen and ragweed can get on their coat
- Wash the dog’s bedding and your own frequently in hot water
- Use high-efficiency filters in your home as well as an air purifier specifially designed for pet allergies
- Consult with an allergist before bringing home a dog
To learn more about what you can do, check out our blog post titled “Minimizing The Amount Of Dog Hair Or Fur In Your Home“.
- Giving up your dog will not solve your allergy problem. You will still be allergic to the same allergens that you were being exposed to with your pet. You will likely encounter these same allergens when you leave your home too.
- Your couch or sofa contains the highest concentration of allergens, even in homes without pets as your guests or visitors bring these allergen materials in on their clothing.
- Pets produce more dust so having dogs and cats can potentially aggravate dust mite allergies in people who may be vulnerable to them.
- Studies have shown that early exposure to animals can have positive benefits for children. Being around cats and dogs during infancy may actually reduce the chances that a child will develop allergies later on in life. Babies raised in a home with two or more dogs or cats were up to 77% less likely to develop various types of allergies at age 6 than kids raised without pets. Babies from birth to age 7 exposed to two or more indoor pets were less than half as likely to develop common allergies, not only to pet secretions, but also to ragweed, dust mites and grass. However, parents who smoke can wipe out any anti-allergy benefits their infants receive from early pet exposure.
Things To Keep In Mind Before Getting A Dog
- All dogs shed, produce dander and saliva to some degree, even dogs known to be “hypoallergenic”
- No breed is 100% allergy free
- Most individuals with a dog allergy also suffer with additional environmental allergies (which can be brought into your home on your dog)
- Individuals who are allergic to dogs can suffer from symptoms even when the dog is not present (keep this in mind as most people will have friends or family watch their dog when they are having company over who may be allergic)
- Reactions to airborne allergens tend to take place between 4am and 10am
Dogs Considered Hypoallergenic (Based on Shedding and Barking)
|American Hairless Terrier||No Hair|
|Bedlington Terrier||Doesn’t Shed|
|Bichon Frisé||Doesn’t Shed|
|Border Terrier||Minimal Shedding|
|Cairn Terrier||Minimal Dander|
|Chinese Crested||Minimal Shedding|
|Coton de Tulear||Doesn’t Shed|
|Dandie Dinmont Terrier||Doesn’t Shed|
|Irish Water Spaniel||Doesn’t Shed|
|Kerry Blue Terrier||Minimal Shedding|
|Lhasa Apso||Doesn’t Shed|
|Peruvian Inca Orchid||No Hair|
|Poodles||Doesn’t Shed, Minimal Dander|
|Polish Lowland Sheepdog||Doesn’t Shed|
|Portuguese Water Dog||Doesn’t Shed|
|Shih Tzu||Minimal Shedding|
|Skye Terrier||Doesn’t Shed|
|Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier||Doesn’t Shed|
|Spanish Water Dog||Minimal Shedding|
|Tibetan Terrier||Doesn’t Shed When Groomed Regularly, Low Dander|
|Welsh Terrier||Doesn’t Shed|
|Yorkshire Terrier||Doesn’t Shed, Low Dander|