I Want a Dog, But I Have Allergies
You’ve acquired a severe case of dog envy. Many of your friends have dogs, and they’ve built entire social circles around their dog walking and dog park trips. You’ve wanted to join this happy group for years; however, you’ve had longstanding pet allergy problems. Recently, though, you’ve heard that some allergy patients have been able to acclimate to dog ownership by making lifestyle adjustments. While there aren’t any guarantees, and your doctor has the last word, it’s worth checking out. If you get the green light, talk to your Reynoldsburg veterinarian about some potentially acceptable breeds.
It’s Not About the Fur
Fluffy dog fur isn’t the culprit behind your pet allergy problems. Instead, your body reacts to a protein in dogs’ (and cats’) saliva and urine. This unappealing protein adheres to your dog’s dander, or dried skin flakes. When you run your hands through your dog’s fur, or brush him vigorously, your body gets bombarded with allergens that fly through the air.
Shrink Your Dog Allergy Risks
To minimize your dander exposure, consider a smaller pooch rather than a good-sized dog such as a golden retriever. After all, the smaller dog’s decreased surface area gives him less space to stockpile the dander. Giving your dog weekly baths also helps to minimize his dander output. If you can, replace your dander-loaded carpet with a hardwood, laminate, or tile floor. If that’s not feasible, shampoo the carpet regularly to knock down unwelcome dander.
Most dog owners love to have their best friends sleep on the bed. However, if you can acquire the discipline to banish your dog from the bedroom, you’ll also banish some allergy risk. A higher-end vent filter, along with a well-made HEPA air purifier, snags a good percentage of the airborne allergens. Also, in good weather, let your dog shake off his dander outside.
Non-Shedding Dogs Don’t Exist
If you’re looking for a non-shedding dog who doesn’t cause allergy problems, you won’t find him. All dogs can cause allergy symptoms to some degree. However, a low-shedding dog greatly decreases your allergy risk, as the dander stays on the dog’s fur rather than being hurled around the room.
Consider These Breeds
If you’re prepared to take the plunge, investigate some purebred dog breeds who seem to live well with allergy sufferers. Check out the American Kennel Club website for profiles on bichon frise, Maltese, poodle, Portugese water dog, and schnauzer breeds, for example. After you settle on a breed, contact a regional breed rescue group about adoptable dogs. Once you find a good match, ask your Reynoldsburg vet to give your new pooch a complete physical exam. After all, you want your dog to start off on the right foot.