Ditch The Allergies, Not The Dog

For those who suffer from dog or other pet allergies, simply avoiding these animals is not always possible or even an option.

Posted: March 26, 2012, 5 p.m. EST

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One of the main culprits of allergies is man’s best friend. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 15 to 30 percent of people with allergies have allergic reactions to cats and dogs.

Many allergy sufferers are proud pet owners and lovers. Even if you have chosen a dog breed that does not shed, you can still experience allergy symptoms. If you are an allergic to pets, but share your life with one – or have friends who do – there are some things you can do to help reduce your reaction, especially during the spring when allergies really act up.

Reducing Pet Allergens

1. Keep your pet bathed and groomed. Access dog dander makes it worse for those suffering from allergies. If someone you know is allergic is coming to visit you, give your pet a bath prior to their visit. There are some great products out there, including a handheld vacuum that you use directly on your pet that really gets rid of lose skin (dander) and fur.

2. Clean your house frequently. The more you wash all blankets, vacuum couches, pet beds, and carpets, the less dander and fur you have in your home. If you have someone who stays at your house frequently, you might want to keep your pet off the bed they sleep in and/or keep a set of “pet free” bed coverings in the closet and switch them out before the guest arrives.

3. Don’t let the dog lick you. One of the main allergens is actually found in the salvia of the dog, so if you are visiting a friend’s house, make sure you skip their dog’s friendly lick.

4. Wash your hands. Dogs and other pets lick themselves clean, so they have salvia all over their bodies. After petting a dog, wash your hands before touching your face, arms, etc., to reduce the exposure of allergens to your body.

5. An ounce of prevention. Take an antihistamine prior to going somewhere you know is going to have dogs. This will get the medicine in your system and working before the symptoms show up and might lessen your attack.

6. Stay away from other allergens. In other words, if you are allergic to dogs and grass, don’t play with a dog in the grass. You’ll just compound your misery.

7. Purify the air. In your own home, consider investing in an air purifier. One purifier, germguardian® Digital 3-in-1 Air Cleaning System with Pet Pure™ Filter Treatment, claims to remove pet saliva, dander, and fur from the air. This could be a life saver if you want a dog but are allergic.

No one said it was easy to enjoy dogs while being allergic, but it is possible. Just taking the time to follow these simple tips can increase your enjoyment of the dog in your life.

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JakeyBoy22   Charleston, SC

6/8/2012 10:25:15 AM

Good advice but wanted to add that dog allergies can also be from their food. We do all the things on your list because our dog is very allergic to many things, and we also feed her a special Natural Balance L.I.D. allergy food with potato & duck because she has problems with chicken. This food really seems to help keep her itchiness and rashes from happening. We also bathe her once a month.

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C   Laguna, CA

6/6/2012 3:29:35 PM

Great article - lots of good things to know.

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Terri - 166   Irvine, CA

6/6/2012 12:01:00 PM

Thanks for the great information - I think my next dog is going to be a dog that doesnt shed.

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