Dog Allergies Symptoms in Children

Dog allergies symptoms in children can be an issue if you own a pet and have children who have allergies. The cause of these allergies is the proteins found in the dander of the animal shedding, which can cause irritation such as a runny nose and itchy eyes. Another cause can be from the proteins in dog saliva, blood, and urine.

The good news is that there are ways to prevent and treat dog allergy symptoms in children, and this unfortunate occurrence doesn't have to ruin your ability to own a pet if you have children with allergies. Below is useful information on the causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention of dog allergies symptoms in children.

Causes of Dog Allergies

Animal allergies are usually caused by the proteins in the dander, saliva, urine and blood of the animal. A much less common cause may be from mold or pollen picked up in the animal's fur.

The most common source of dog allergens is obviously at home, if you own a dog. But other places, such as the school classroom, can be a source of allergens, as dander is easily transferred and children can bring it to school with them if it is on their clothing.

Symptoms and Signs of Dog Allergies

Symptoms of dog allergies in children are comparable to those seen in adults. Animal allergies generally present themselves in signs correlated with allergic rhinitis. Common symptoms include:

  • Itchy, red, or watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Congested nose
  • Wheezing or coughing
  • Sneezing

Dog allergies can also provoke an asthma attack if a child is suffering from a respiratory condition.

After being exposed, it is common for a child to show signs of dog allergies within a couple minutes. Nevertheless, some children may not exhibit symptoms of exposure until up to 12 hours after being subjected.

In the very rare occurrence that a child experiences anaphylactic shock after being exposed, the child should be taken to the emergency room immediately. Anaphylactic shock is a very serious and potentially deadly reaction and should never be taken lightly. Fortunately, this is an extremely rare event.

Treatment and Prevention of Dog Allergies

The only way to eliminate all allergy sources is to take away contact from the pet and the child, but this can be devastating to both the pet owners and the pets. In addition, some pet owners find it very difficult to get rid of a beloved pet. If parting with the animal is not an option, there are certain steps that can be taken to prevent and minimize allergies symptoms. These include the following:

  • Frequently brushing the dog's fur will reduce the amount of dander in the dog's hair. This should always be done outside or in an area that will not come in contact with the allergic child.
  • Making sure the pet is always clean, but not over-washed. Over-washing can actually cause dry skin and more dander.
  • Ventilating the home with air filters or cleaners to prevent dander from spreading.
  • Making sure the pet does not enter the allergic family member's bedroom and using allergen-resistant bedding.
  • Replacing carpet, cloth, or fabric furniture with wood floors, leather furniture, or plastic window blinds. These alternatives will make your home less susceptible to dander, but still must be cleaned regularly to ensure dander is taken away. If you can't replace carpet or rugs, make sure they are heavily cleaned frequently.
  • Teaching the child to avoid close contact with the animal, such as kissing, petting, or hugging. Frequent hand washing should be practiced if the child continues to come into contact with the animal.
  • Frequently washing the child's clothing will eliminate any dander present on clothes.