Recent studies show that 15% to 20% of the population is allergies to either their dog or cat. But for 25% of those people they choose to continue to keep pets and suffer through the allergies. In fact studies show even when told by their doctor to give up their dog only one out of five choose to do so while the rest live with their dog allergy.
When surveyed many of those suffering from a dog allergy felt that their companionship their pet provided far outweighed the allergy itself. For those that choose this route learning to manage their allergy is very important.
The biggest mistake made is to blame the fur when actually the allergy is caused by the protein that is secreted by the oil glands and then shed with their dander which is microscopic particles of skin, hair, and fur. Since animals continuously shed this dander is always present and a person can develop a dog allergy when the immune system mistakes this allergen as the enemy.
These allergens can be transmitted through the air or they can be transmitted through touch. When the allergens land on your nose, eyes, or are inhaled into the lungs the allergy symptoms begin. Contact with your skin can cause hives. For most a dog allergy is an annoyance but for some it can life threatening causing severe asthma attacks that block the air ways. The severity will vary from one person to another.
Just as severity can vary from person to person so can how long it takes for the symptoms to occur. They can develop instantly upon exposure or they can take hours to develop.
Another big misconception is that there is such a thing as a non-allergenic dog breed. For example many believe that dogs with fur that is tightly woven such as poodles have no shedding so therefore there is no allergen dander but this is not true. You can still have a dog allergy
What is true when it comes to a dog allergy there are some dog breeds that seem to both some people less. Size often has a lot to do with because the smaller the dog the less dander that is likely to be released. For example a large breed such as a Shepherd would have a lot more dander than a toy breed like the poodle.
Sensitive people are actually more likely to have a cat allergy than a dog allergy. When a person is allergic to animals they can even suffer when the animal is not present because the allergens or dander still reside in the house. And it does take more than a vacuum to clear a house of the dander.
For pet lovers who discover suddenly they have developed a dog allergy it can be devastating and giving up a beloved pet is simply not an option.
One method of reducing allergens and then perhaps the dog allergy is to groom your pets often. It’s bet if you can do this outside or in a room that has no carpeting, and a hepa air purifier. Wear a dust mask while your grooming. You need to wash your hands after handling
Placing hepa air purifiers throughout your house can reduce the amount of dander. Bathing your pet once a week will reduce allergens by more than 80% and if you suffer from a dog allergy this can be the difference between suffering and not suffering. That said some breeds don’t do well with bathing that often so watch for symptoms of dry skin and reduce bathing accordingly.
A dog allergy doesn’t have to be the end of the road for you and your dog. It may take you a while to determine the best way to manage your allergy but when you do both you and your best friend will be very happy.