What If You're Allergic to Dogs But Want One?

If you're allergic to dogs and still want one, you need to keep in a mind a few guidelines that will help you live with a pet in the same household. In the past, animal lovers sometimes had to give away their pets because there weren't many options to deal with allergic reactions triggered by pet dander. However, there are several things that you can do to minimize your risk of exposure to these allergens.

Selecting the Right Breed

One of the easiest ways to control allergic reactions to dogs is to acquire a hypoallergenic pet. There are a few dog breeds that produce fewer allergens than most other pets. Some of them include the Cairn terrier, the Bolognese breed, the Wire haired fox terrier and the Maltese breed. Most of these pets don't shed their fur and therefore reduce your risk of exposure to allergens.

Keeping Your Home Allergen Free

After you've brought home a dog you need to clean your house periodically, so that it's free from dust, dander and dog fur. It's best to prevent your pet from sleeping in your bed but if that isn't possible, wash your sheets in hot water to kill dust mites and get rid of allergens. Also wash your pet's bedding once a week to prevent him from developing skin infections. Vacuum and steam clean your carpets regularly and use air filters to purify the air circulating in your home.

Grooming Your Pet

Since dust and debris settle on your pet's body every day, you need to brush his coat daily to get rid of these external contaminants. Bathe the dog frequently and use a hypoallergenic shampoo that won't aggravate his skin or cause rash and itching. You could also supplement your pet's diet with vitamins and minerals that are meant to improve your dog's skin and coat.

As part of the routine grooming process you should also run a flea comb through your dog's coat and look for flea or tick infections. Since these parasites cause severe itching and flea allergy dermatitis in some pets, it's important to notice any signs of flea infections and treat the condition in time.

Hypo Sensitization Shots

Hypo sensitization shots are also known as immunotherapy allergy shots. You can take these shots to reduce the occurrence of allergic reactions once you acquire a pet. Although this isn't a permanent solution, the allergy shots reduce your body's response to certain allergens. Immunotherapy shots work best when the type of allergen that causes the allergic reaction is known. The vet will also perform allergy tests to determine the amount of histamine that's present in your body.

Dos and Don'ts:

  • Don't use pet shampoos that are likely to aggravate your dog's skin.
  • Don't acquire breeds that are known to cause allergic reactions in humans.
  • Disinfect the flooring in your home to get rid of pet dander.
  • Buy a hypoallergenic bed for your dog so that he doesn't develop rash or skin conditions.
  • Use allergy sprays in your home.

It's important to look after your pet's skin and coat so that he doesn't produce too many allergens. If you follow these guidelines you will be able to deal with your allergic reactions despite having a pet in your house.