Are you allergic to dogs? If you are but an avid dog lover, then no problem! While there is no such thing as a hypo-allergenic dog breed – one that won’t cause any dog allergy or allergic reactions – there are breeds that produce very little of the allergens that trigger the symptoms.
What are allergens?
Allergens are substances found everywhere around us that our body cannot tolerate. Usually what happens is that you may have been exposed to these allergens before and your immune system had a reaction, producing antibodies to “fight” off these “harmful” substances.
Most of the time, these substances are not harmful at all, only your immune system misidentify them as “foreign” and “potentially dangerous.” So the next time you encounter these allergens, your immune system overreacts by mass producing antibodies to counter these substances. And when that happens, you then experience the symptoms of allergy, such as swelling, bloating, itching, congestion, sneezing, watering eyes, fatigue, skin rashes, headaches, shortness of breath, coughing, respiratory problems, wheezing, asthma, and even fatal anaphylaxis.
Common allergens causing dog allergy are dander (or shed skin cells), saliva, and urine. You notice that fur is not included. That’s because fur are not allergens by themselves, but they do collect dander and saliva when your pet is grooming.
Within five to thirty minutes of contact with these allergens, the symptoms of dog allergy can occur. But there are instances where the symptoms can occur much later in a sort of delayed reaction.
Hypo-Allergenic Dog Breeds?
The term “hypo-allergenic” is typically used with skincare products that tend to be less irritating to sensitive skin. The hypo-allergenic dog idea came up when people found that there are certain dog breeds that produce less dander than other breeds. As a result, these breeds came to be known as “hypo-allergenic,” “low allergy,” and even “allergy friendly.” People with dog allergy can supposedly tolerate these dogs, but always with proper environmental controls.
Read below for some tips on how to properly control your environment with dogs around:
Always try to at least keep your dog away from your bed or even in your bedroom.
Use HEPA air purifiers in all the bedrooms, the family room, and all other rooms where you spend most of your time.
Dog allergens are reduced with the use of central heating systems with electrostatic filters to help clean the air.
Avoid carpets. Use bare, easy to clean floors in all the rooms where the dogs spend most of its time. Carpets are very good collectors of dander.
It helps if you bathe your dogs regularly. Twice a week will do. Use a mild dog shampoo to prevent over drying of the skin.
Wash all dog bedding, doggie shirts, and soft dog toys frequently. Try using anti-allergenic detergent to wash these things.
For sofas, leather is the ideal material. Dog allergy sufferers will find that the less dander is collected on furniture surfaces, the better it is to control your symptoms.
There are more ways for you to control your dog allergy. But always, the best method is the avoidance method. Yes, we all love our dogs, but try not to spend more time with them. Remember, we all must care for ourselves, too.