12 Tips for Preventing Allergies in Your Dog
Do you love spending time with your furry friend but suffer from dog allergies?
It can be frustrating and uncomfortable, but don't worry - there are ways to manage and prevent dog allergies. Here are 12 easy tips for keeping your dog allergies in check.
So, let's get started on helping you and your beloved pet live happily together!
Choose a hypoallergenic dog breed.
Hypoallergenic dog breeds produce fewer allergens that can trigger your allergy symptoms. This means they may be less likely to cause an allergic reaction in people with dog allergies!
What are some examples of these dogs?
Hypoallergenic breeds can still trigger allergy symptoms in some people who are severely allergic to dogs.
If you have a history of dog allergies but are considering obtaining a dog anyhow, researching hypoallergenic breeds and spending time with them is a smart idea.
Allergies can develop over time. If you don't dog allergies now, you might have one in the future.
Bathe your dog regularly using mild shampoo.
Dogs shed tiny flakes of skin called dander, which can trigger allergies in some people. A dog who spends time outdoors can also pick up pollen and other allergens on its fur, which it can bring into your home.
So, to keep your dog clean and allergen-free, you should give them regular baths using mild shampoo. Be careful not to overdo it because bathing them too often can actually dry out their skin and cause other skin problems.
You should also use a brush to remove any loose hair and dander from their coat on a regular basis. You should also clean their bedding and other items they come into contact with, such as toys and food bowls.
Vacuum and dust your home regularly.
Vacuuming and dusting regularly is an effective way to manage your dog's allergies, but using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter is essential. A regular vacuum cleaner can stir up allergens, worsening the problem.
HEPA filters are designed to trap small particles like pet dander, pollen, and dust mites, which can help improve indoor air quality.
Try using a damp cloth instead of a dry one when dusting. A damp cloth can capture allergens rather than spreading them around. You can also consider using a specialized allergen spray on surfaces before wiping them down. This can help trap allergens and make them easier to remove.
Consider using an air purifier with a HEPA filter.
An air purifier with a HEPA filter can also be helpful in managing allergy symptoms at home. HEPA filters can trap smaller particles and help clean the air you breathe.
Using an air purifier alone won't necessarily solve all your allergy woes. To keep allergens at bay, you must combine it with other preventative measures, like regular cleaning and grooming your dog.
Create a dog-free zone at home.
This means picking a specific area or room your dog cannot go to. The whole point is to have a space to retreat and reduce exposure to allergens.
In creating a dog-free zone at home, you may:
- choose a room with a door that can be closed
- keep all dog stuff out of the dog-free zone
- use a gate or barrier to block your dog from entering
- and use a HEPA air purifier in the dog-free zone to reduce allergens.
Wash your hands after touching your dog or handling dog-related items.
Constantly touching your dog and its things can increase the possibility of picking up allergens that might transfer to sensitive parts of your body. Plus, those pesky allergens can stick to surfaces like toys, bowls, or bedding and spread around your house.
To minimize your risk of exposure to dog allergens, washing your hands often using warm water and soap is crucial, especially after you touch your dog or handle their stuff. Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is also good if you don’t have any soap handy.
Use high-quality dog food to reduce shedding and promote healthy skin and coat.
Dogs with healthy skin and coats tend to shed less, which is great news for allergy sufferers. To get that healthy skin and coat, you'll want to look for dog foods that contain:
- high-quality proteins
- omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids
- essential vitamins
Try switching to hypoallergenic dog food if you're worried your dog's food may worsen your allergies.
Consider allergy shots to desensitize you to dog allergens over time.
Consider having an allergy shot or allergen immunotherapy if you have dog allergies. It is a long-term treatment option for people with dog allergies. It works by exposing you to small amounts of dog allergen over time to help build your immune system.
It's like teaching your immune system not to overreact to your furry friend's dander!
However effective, allergy shots aren't a quick fix because getting immune may take several years and can be costly. Talk to an allergist or immunologist who can evaluate your symptoms and determine if allergy shots fit you well.
Consider using anti-allergy medications.
Over-the-counter medications can help ease allergy symptoms before they get serious. This includes the anti-allergy medications:
- Antihistamines can help reduce itching, sneezing, and runny nose symptoms.
- Decongestants help relieve nasal congestion. They come in nasal sprays, tablets, and liquids.
- Nasal sprays may contain corticosteroids and antihistamines and can also help reduce inflammation and relieve allergy symptoms. These can be especially helpful if you're experiencing nasal congestion and postnasal drip.
Consult your doctor about your allergy symptoms and treatments.
The medications mentioned above are meant to manage symptoms. They are not for treating the allergy itself. If you are showing severe allergy symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.
Doctors can identify the cause of your symptoms. They can also recommend the most appropriate treatments to manage them. They might even suggest allergy testing to determine if your dog is the source of your allergies.
Try dog fostering.
Dog fostering means taking care of a dog temporarily. It is usually until a permanent home is found for the dog. One option for dog fostering is to ask a friend to be a dog sitter when they are away.
You can foster a dog for a short period and see how your allergies react. If your allergies are manageable, you may consider adopting a dog permanently. If your allergies are severe, you can choose not to continue fostering or adopting a dog.
Spend time outdoors to help reduce your exposure to indoor allergens.
Spending time outside can be really helpful if you're someone who deals with dog allergies. That's because fewer indoor allergens are around, like dog hair and dander.
Spending time in nature can help improve your overall health and well-being and help manage your allergy symptoms!
Be mindful of any allergens that might be present outside, like pollen or dust mites, that could make your symptoms worse.
And if you're going to be spending time outside, take allergy medication beforehand to help manage your symptoms. With these tips, you can enjoy fresh air and sunshine with your dog, even with allergies!
Dog allergies can be tricky to manage, especially when you always spend quality time with your dog. Thankfully, there are ways to manage them and even prevent dog allergies so you can enjoy the company of your pet. By following the tips above, you and your dog can have a happy and healthy life together without letting allergies come in the way!