Did you know that living with an indoor dog can actually help a child to be safer from allergies? There is a chemical that dogs release called endotoxin that actually helps the immune system to develop which is beneficial for children. Usually those that have a dog allergy have developed this sensitivity by being in contact with a dog after their immune system has already developed. While dogs may be man’s best friend, a dog allergy can be very difficult for anyone to live with if they love their pet. What can a person do in order to treat this sensitivity, other than send their pet away?
For one thing remember that the chemical that causes a dog allergy usually comes from their saliva and not their skin. This is unlike a cat allergy, which is usually triggered by cat hair and dander. A dog’s saliva contains albumin, which causes an allergic reaction in many. So obviously the first thing you need to do when you have a dog allergy is keep the dog from licking your hands and face! When the dog licks themselves this sticky protein is deposited on the hair along with dead skin cells. When the dog hair comes into contact with dust, clothing, curtains, furniture, or you, the protein will stick to the surface of the object. After playing or wrestling with your dog, this saliva can trigger an allergic reaction that lasts for hours.
It also helps to make sure the dog is outside as much as possible. When the dog is indoors he will spread the allergen all around the house that much more, causing the reaction of your dog allergy. It can also help to remove the carpeting in your house in as many rooms as possible; opt for hardwood floors in various rooms. The less carpet you have, the less allergens will stay in the home. For the carpeted rooms, vacuum often with a HEPA equipped vacuum cleaner. Air cleaners can make a really big difference in the severity and frequency of allergy attacks.
Even though your dog allergy is probably not caused by his skin or hair, be sure to bathe the dog at least once or twice per week. This removes allergens that are clinging to his skin and fur. Keeping your home scrupulously clean is also imperative when you have a dog allergy. Steam clean your carpets once or twice per year. Most vacuums will blow the smaller particles of dust back into the air through the exhaust so you will need to get a vacuum that has some type of HEPA filter that traps microscopic particles of dust from being blown back into the air.
Dust all your furniture and surfaces several times per week with a damp cloth (a dry cloth only spreads dust around rather than actually getting rid of it), and don’t forget to regularly clean window blinds and curtains as well.
If none of these things help and you don’t want to get rid of your dog, talk to your doctor. He or she can recommend options to treat your dog allergy with medications and other options. You may also get regular shots which help your immune system to build up a tolerance for the dog as well.
Of course for a severe dog allergy you may just need to part with your pet. Being able to breathe is of course much more important than any family pet.
Always consult your doctor before using this information.
This Article is nutritional in nature and is not to be construed as medical advice.