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What You Don’t Know about Allergies to Dogs May Shock You

Back in the days, when you have allergies, the only solution is to get rid of your dog or not get one in the first place. Thankfully, things have changed these days as doctors found a way to help minimize your symptoms of allergies to dogs.

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What Causes Allergies to Dogs?

Contrary to popular belief, allergies aren’t exactly caused by dog hair. The truth is, it is the dander, or small scales from animal skin, hair or feather that can get people wheezing in no time at all. Pollen and dust can hitchhike on dander that makes it even more allergenic. There are also people who are allergic to dog urine or saliva.

Since dander is the real culprit, the main idea that low shedding dogs are hypoallergenic is not really true. Every dog has dander including the hairless ones. The low shedding dogs have the tendency to release lesser amount of it compared to the heavy shedders although they can still cause allergic reactions.

You could be allergic to some or all dog breeds or to several dogs in a certain breed but not others. One way to know how you will react to a certain dog is to spend more time with the animal.

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Treatment Options for Allergies to Dogs

Ideally, the very first step is to ensure that dogs are really the cause of your allergic problems. The best way for doing this is to live with no dogs, in a house that is completely free from dander for a period of two months to see how you will feel. If you find out that you are really allergic, there are simple tips that can provide some relief.

  • It is important to know let your pet sleep in your bedroom or get to your bed. Always keep your door closed and conduct a thorough cleaning every chance you get.
  • Animal allergens tend to be sticky so remove your dog’s bed, scrub floors, walls and woodwork and pull up rugs.
  • If possible, it might best to go for bare floors instead of using carpets that could trap allergens. If bare floors are not your thing, you can use throw rugs which can be washed in hot water.
  • Cover the vents in your bedroom with cheesecloth.
  • Vacuum as often as you can and wear dust mask every time you do so. You might also want to invest in a good vacuum that has HEPA filter.
  • Keep your pet off furniture pieces or use fabric covers that you can wash in hot water.
  • Air conditioning and forced air heating can usually spread allergens. It is best to add an air cleaner with HEPA filter to your air conditioning and central heating unit and run this for a minimum of 4 hours a day. Electrostatic filters can also get rid of airborne particles the size of animal allergens.
  • Ask someone to brush your pet outside your home.

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