Managing Dog Allergies: Basic Strategies

Is man’s best friend becoming your worst enemy? People who suffer from dog allergies can feel pretty conflicted. On one hand they love their canine friend but on the other they suffer with a variety of symptoms that can make their lives miserable. If you aren’t sure whether you are allergic to dogs or want to figure out strategies for managing your symptoms so that you can keep your Lassie, then this article is for you.

Pets are pretty common in American households 6 out of 10 homes have one. Unfortunately the numbers also show that 1 out of every 10 people suffers from some sort of animal allergy. When it comes to pets cats tend to be the worst culprit in causing allergies but dogs are right behind them. Since dog allergies are a common problem, the good news is that there is a lot of information available on how to treat and manage an allergic reaction to your pet. If your reaction is not severe, and if you do not have other serious complications such as asthma, you should be able to successfully manage your allergic condition so that you can experience many symptom-free days.

How to Identify Your Dog Allergy

The most recommended strategy for identifying dog allergies is to remove the person you suspect is allergic from the environment. This can be done for a week or two to see whether the person experiences any of the symptoms they were complaining about. You might think it would be easier to remove the dog but pet dander can remain in the environment that the animal lives in for up to six months after the pet is removed. If moving the person away for a couple of weeks is too difficult, you can also ask your doctor to perform an allergy test in his office to see if the person indeed has a dog allergy.

What Treatment Options Do You Have?

Dog allergies are usually associated with dander or saliva of the animal. These allergens tend to cling to many surfaces. They also can hang around for a long time. This quality makes it difficult to completely rid a home of the allergens responsible for dog allergies, even if the animal is removed. It generally will take up to six months for the home to become free of allergens once the pet is removed.

The drastic treatment is to give the dog to another good home. This can be a big problem because family members are usually attached to the dog and consider him a part of the family. This option can be the last resort unless you have someone that just can not live with their symptoms. An example of this would be someone with asthma.

If the symptoms are mild there are other options. First, keep your pet out of the bedroom. This is an area where you spend a significant amount of your time, particularly sleeping. Get rid of old carpet that can harbor the allergens. Go for bare floors, in our house we always start out with hardwood floors and use throw rugs that can be washed in hot water. An air cleaner with a HEPA filter can also be an effective way to keep allergens at bay in certain areas of your house, Oreck has a great line of air purifiers that can help.

Dog allergies may be a common problem but you can learn to manage them. If all else fails and you do have to get rid of your beloved pet you might be able to replace them with a dog breed that is known to cause less dog allergies.

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