Can I Still Have a Dog If I have Pet Allergies?
Have you ever gone to a friend’s house and all of a sudden, you started wheezing and sneezing? If you have asthma, anything in the environment can trigger these allergy symptoms. From that dusty couch you’re sitting on to the sugary pastry that was offered to you, these triggers can put a damper on anyone’s day. Any of these things could be causing the allergy attack!
Suddenly, you spot a shy Boston Terrier under the couch and you realize that the adorable pup is causing the reaction. Oh, darn these pet allergies! But is there hope for people with asthma or allergic rhinitis to own a dog? Let’s find out in this blog post.
What Causes Pet Allergies?
Most people would say, “It’s got to be fur.” It’s a common misconception that your pet’s hair can bring about an asthma attack. It’s not even the dandruff-like animal dander itself. Rather, it’s certain proteins found in the tiny flakes of dead skin cells, urine, and saliva that are causing your asthma attack. And just like any allergy, it’s not the thing itself (e.g., peanuts if you’re allergic to peanuts) but the proteins contained in those substances.
Dogs love to explore, so it’s no surprise to find different allergens sticking to their coats as well. Pollen is one of those culprits and a common seasonal allergy trigger. Another allergen that you have to look out for is dust. This can build up on your dog’s fur and lead to nasal swellings and congestion.
One important thing you have to note is that pet allergies can develop at any time. Even if you had pets when you were younger and didn’t have any allergic reaction, it’s entirely possible to be allergic now. It’s also possible to be with dogs for so many years and later develop pet allergies.
What Can You Do?
If you already have a dog, one of the toughest decisions you have to make is to rehome your pet if you have a severe allergic reaction to him. Even if you found a good home for your furkid, this won’t be a happy or easy solution. It’s heartbreaking and we hate to think of that ever happening!
Before you re-home though, it’s important to see an allergist to determine what you’re allergic to. As mentioned above, you might not be allergic to your pet per se, but to other elements such as pollen and dust. It may or may not be those two triggers, but in some cases, doctors might say it’s okay to keep your dogs as long as you take medicine or get allergy shots. You can lower your risk of an allergic reaction by following these tips:
- Keep dogs out of your bedroom or your living area.
- Consult with your vet on how you can properly bathe and groom your pets.
- Get someone else to do bathe and groom your dog to reduce your exposure to the triggers. Ask if they can clean the crate daily as well.
- Don’t forget the rugs and carpeting! Vacuum regularly to get rid of those allergens.
- Talk to your family about the importance of washing hands after handling your dog.
Are There Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds?
If you’re allergic to dogs but would still want to raise one, you can consider adopting a pup. But there’s more to just picking a dog with shorter hair. Here is some information on choosing the best breeds for your needs:
One of the ways you can get rid of allergic triggers is to clean and vacuum your place regularly. Don’t have time to spruce up? A schnauzer produces less dander than any other breed and will make daily cleaning less demanding.
Two of the most sought-after hypoallergenic breeds because of their low maintenance coats are the labradoodle and the bichon frise.
It’s sad when you have to send your furkid outside because of your allergies. A maltese might not be a good idea if you need to keep him outdoors. Get a Portuguese water dog instead. With its waterproof fur and webbed feet, they’re bred to live outside! Just make sure to provide the essentials such as shelter, fresh water and a yard to explore.
Allergies can prevent you from getting a pet, especially one that sheds a lot. Get a Xoloitzcuintli. A Xlo-what? The name is pronounced as show-low-eats-queen-tlee. Quite a mouthful but you can call it Xolo. This breed has a very short coat, and some don’t even have hair at all. It’s every groomer’s dream as they’re quite low maintenance. And it’s also one of the rarest dogs in the world.
Something To Think About
According to a research conducted by Don Bukstein, 600 million people all over the world are affected by allergic rhinitis. The illness is often underdiagnosed and under-treated, affecting the overall quality of life. There’s quite a high percentage of people suffering from allergic rhinitis due to animal allergens. Quite frankly, we think that the illness is left untreated because pet owners would rather endure all that itching, sneezing or wheezing than give up their furkids.
What would you do if you suddenly develop pet allergies? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.