Human Allergies to Dogs

People may develop allergies to dogs. Human allergies to dogs may be manageable and people with allergies may be pet owners. Typically, the allergic reaction is caused by dog dander and not hair, as it is believed by a lot of people. People that suffer from other inhalant allergies such as dust or pollens are more prone to developing pet allergies as well.

Dog Dander

A lot of people believe that they develop allergies to dog hair. In fact, the allergic reactions are caused by dog dander in the majority of the cases.

Dander is the dead skin that the dog sheds. The dander contains a certain protein that is the allergen. This protein is also present in the dog’s saliva and urine, but in lower concentrations.

Symptoms of Dog Allergies

The symptoms of dog allergies are similar to the symptoms of other allergies or the symptoms of a cold. The most disturbing symptoms of allergies to dogs include:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Itchy eyes and skin; even skin rashes
  • Runny eyes
  • Stuffed nose
  • Difficulty in breathing

These symptoms are present when the allergic person is around dogs.

Reducing Allergic Reactions

If you establish that your allergic reactions are caused by dogs, you may reduce these symptoms by getting treatment. Ideally, you should not be around dogs, but if you have a pet, that’s not possible.

You may get allergy shots for immunization. Allergens will be injected in your system; you will get a shot per month and you may be less allergic to dogs after 6 to 9 months of injections. The allergic reactions will not vanish, but will be dramatically reduced.

Get antihistamines and corticosteroids; however, these are short-term solutions and may also have side effects. To reduce itchiness, you can use topical ointments that contain steroids.

You may also try the followings:

  • Bathe your dog regularly, to reduce the amount of dander that is shed around the house. As an alternative, you may clean your dog’s skin with a moist sponge at the end of the day.
  • Groom your dog daily.
  • Clean your home, vacuuming all the corners to reduce the amount of dander.
  • Opt for rooms with no carpets, as these attract dander.
  • Use air cleaners.
  • Don’t allow your dog to sit on your bed or couch; you may also choose to close your bedroom and make it a dog-free zone.
  • Use allergy reducing sprays on your pet.
  • Change your dog’s diet; a healthy diet may reduce the amount of dander. Add some multivitamins and fatty acid supplements. Talk to your vet about the best diet.
  • Always wash your hands after playing with your pet; avoid touching your mouth or eyes before washing your hands

Hypoallergenic Dogs

Some people believe that there are hypoallergenic dogs. In fact, hypoallergenic dogs don’t exist, as all dogs shed dander. Some breeds don’t shed as much dander as others. However, so far, a dog that does not cause allergies was not created.