Living With An Allergy to Dogs
There are no words to describe how devastating it is to have to choose between your health and the furriest member of your family. This is the reality for many doting pet owners each year. But there is good news for dog owners; living with dog allergies is possible. As long as the person is not experiencing a serious allergic reaction, like asthma attacks or severe hives, they stand a good chance of being able to deal with their allergy to dogs in a safe and painless way.
Medical findings have made it easier to lessen the allergic reaction of dog allergies. Doctors have found that allergy medication can reduce your symptoms. But they also say that medication alone will probably not be the complete answer to your allergy to dogs.
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Dog Allergy Remedies
- Wash your dog at least monthly to remove pet dander. Brush your dog daily to remove loose hair. Do this chore outdoors when the weather permits. A tool I like to use for brushing my dogs is the FURminator deShedding Tool. There are models for long hair, short hair and in-between. This amazing tool really gets a huge amount of loose hair off the dogs.
- Launder pet beds in hot soapy water several times a week. Large towels or small blankets make nice, washable beds. There are also some excellent pet beds available that are durable and washable.
- Use hard flooring surfaces in your home whenever possible. Wood and tile floors clean up so easily with a damp mop. Carpets tend to harbor pet hair as well as other yucky things.
- Invest in a good vacuum cleaner that is designed to pick up pet hair, especially if you have carpeting. My favorites and the ones I own are the Dyson DC50Animal Ball-Technology Vacuum Cleaner and the Shark Rocket True Pet Ultra Vacuum. These pet vacuums truly do pick up an amazing amount of dog hair from my wood floors as well as the carpet in my bedroom.
- Install hepa filters in your heating and air conditioning units. Hepa filters are capable of trapping the minutest particles of dander and dust before they enter your air and settle on surfaces. Be sure to check the filters several times a month to determine if they need replaced.
- Invest in an air purifier. We did this and it has made such a difference in our air quality and helped to lessen the stuffiness we suffer from due to sharing our home with four dogs and two birds. These are air purifiers we recommend.
- Switch to leather furniture if you like the look of it. Leather is so easy to just wipe clean of pet hair and dander with a damp cloth. Fabric upholstery should be wiped with a damp cloth and vacuumed regularly if you have an allergy to dogs. Opt for slipcovers which are easy to remove and wash. Lay out your cushions onto a clean sheet spread in the yard. Do this several times a month during nice weather.
- Keep hard surfaces wiped clean with a damp cloth. Using an anti-static spray when dusting will help to lessen the attraction of dust.
Keep your dog out of your bedroom. This can be difficult. Ask me how I know! We sleep with two Labs which definitely contributes to stuffed up sinuses in the morning and a not so restful sleep. In this case, I’m better at telling others what to do than actually doing it myself. I just can’t say no, but hopefully you can. It will help. However, if you do give in to the pleading eyes and whimpers, encourage the dog to sleep on his own bed or place a sheet across your bed for him to slumber on. Then you can just toss it in the wash on a regular basis. Be sure to move the air purifier I mentioned earlier, into the bedroom at night. Better yet, buy an extra one to keep there.
If you are just considering adding a dog to your family, check out our article on Hypoallergenic Dogs for some suggested breeds least likely to cause problems for those with an allergy to dogs.