There’s nothing better than coming home to a wagging tail (or two or three!) We open the front door and no matter what kind of day we’ve had, our furbabies are there to shower us with elation and love. We pet their soft heads, rub their mushy bellies, and sometimes get joyfully tackled by them. Coming home to this is such bliss.
Unless, of course, your dog allergies start kicking in soon after the welcoming committee has completed its mission. You feel that tickle in the back of your throat and your eyes start to itch. Finally, a parade of sneezes assaults you. Or maybe you have asthma that waits to attack until after you hug your beloved pooches.
The sad fact is, those of us with furry companions are at higher risk of having to deal with allergies. (1)
But there is great news. There are many ways to address dog allergies so that you can better enjoy your home and your furry best friends.
Essential Facts About Dog Allergies
First, it’s essential to know the truth about your allergies.
- The most common myth is that we are allergic to an animal’s fur. This is not the case, however. We are actually reacting to our four-leggeds’ skin dander or body fluids, not their fur.
- Second, many people believe that “hypoallergenic” dogs exist. While poodles and some short hair varieties might cause less severe allergic reactions in humans, no breed is actually fully hypoallergenic. This is because allergens can exist in your pup’s saliva, urine, blood, and dander.
- Many people think that if you don’t live with an animal, you won’t suffer from allergies. This is not true, however. Pet allergens exist in most American homes, even when no four-leggeds live in the house. (2)
8 Ways to Minimize Allergic Reactions
- If your canine companion sleeps in bed with you, purchase allergen-proof sheets and pillowcases. This will help create a barrier between the allergens and your breathing tubes.
- Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter. This will help prevent allergens from re-entering the air.
- Vacuum as often as possible to keep the amount of dander at bay.
- Lay a blanket down in your car for your pup to lay on when you take drives together. Then, wash it regularly. This could lessen dander build-up in your vehicle.
- Use an air cleaner with a HEPA filter in your home’s most-used rooms. If only one person suffers from allergies, place the air filter in their bedroom.
- Bathe your four-legged family members regularly to keep them as clean as possible and decrease allergens. Use a shampoo that’s nonirritating and biodegradable, like TruDog’s Bathe Me Refreshing Shampoo for Dogs.
- Wash your hands after you snuggle, play, or sleep with your dog. This will help prevent you from rubbing allergens into your eyes or spreading them around.
- If you have children, exposing them to pets early on in life may help them build a defense against allergies. (2)
If you absolutely love dogs but struggle with allergies, it might still be possible to enjoy your pooch without sneezing all the time. Try experimenting with the preventative steps listed here to see if they help you feel better. Maybe you’ll discover even more pleasure and joy from living with your canine companion than you ever experienced before.