Human Health Irritations Due to Pets

Some people are unfortunate because they have allergies to dogs and will never be able to enjoy the love, devotion, and companionship a human receives from a pet dog.

The symptoms of dog allergies are very similar to the symptoms of other types of allergies or the symptoms of a cold. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, approximately 15 to 30 percent of allergy sufferers are allergic to dogs and cats. Dog allergies are not as commonplace as cat allergies, but the dander that causes the allergy tends to be more widespread. A human with a dog allergy may be allergic only to specific breeds or may be affected by all breeds.

The most common allergic reaction to dogs experienced by humans is caused by dog dander and not dog hair. A dog’s dander consists of dead skin cells that contain allergens. When a dog sheds hair, it often sheds dander along with it. Since a dog’s fur has nothing to do with allergies, adopting a dog with short hair doesn’t help prevent dog dander allergy.

Some of the most common symptoms of dog allergies include coughing, sneezing itchy eyes and skin, skin rashes, runny eyes, stuffed up nose, and difficulty in breathing.

If your allergic reactions are caused by dogs, you probably will want to avoid being around dogs, but if you already have a pet you can get allergy shots for immunization. Allergens will be injected in your system once each month with the goal of making you less allergic to dogs The injections take place over a period of 6 to 9 months. Your allergic reactions won’t disappear, but they will be noticeably reduced.

Antihistamines and corticosteroids are short-term solutions and may also have side effects. If the allergy makes you itchy you can try applying topical ointments that contain steroids.

Symptoms of dog allergies can be reduced by bathing your dog regularly to reduce the amount of dander shed in your house. You can also clean your dog’s skin with a moist sponge each day.

Some hints on lowering the incidence of allergies to dogs include grooming your dog daily, using air cleaners or filters, not allowing your dog to sit on your bed or sofa, clean your home and vacuum all the corners where dander can collect, and using allergy reducing sprays on your pet.

Some people believe there are hypoallergenic dogs they could adopt without suffering from dog allergies. The truth is that hypoallergenic dogs don’t exist; all dogs shed dander. It is true that some breeds don’t shed as much dander as others, but a dog that cannot cause allergies has never existed.

Human Allergies to Dogs

Do you suffer from human allergies to dogs?

Most people are surprised when told there are certain dogs that are considered the best pet dogs for humans suffering from allergies. Some of the dogs in this group are purebreds while others are crossbreeds. These dogs are often referred to as “hypoallergenic dogs,” because they make perfect companions for the more than 50 million Americans who suffer from allergies and want to own a pet dog.

There are a number of breeds and crossbreeds to choose from if you are one of the 50 million people suffering from allergies to dogs. The best dogs to choose as pets if you suffer from allergies, are dogs that shed less hair or skin (both of which are called dander) and dogs that don”t have a tendency to drool. There are dogs that seem to be slobbering all the time and it”s not just dog hair that causes an allergic reaction, but saliva and dander.

If you are allergic to the dander or saliva of dogs you still have a fairly extensive list of pet dogs to choose from.

Some of the best dogs for allergy sufferers are: Airedale Terriers, Basenjis, Bouvier des Flandres, Cairn Terriers, Chihuahuas, Chinese Crested Cockapoo (crossbreed), Italian Greyhounds, Labradoodles (crossbreed), LhasaPoos (crossbreed), Old English Sheepdogs, Poodles and most poodle mixes, Schnauzers, and Yorkshire Terriers.

In contrast, some of the worst pet dogs for humans with allergies to dogs are Afghan Hounds, Basset Hounds, Dachshunds, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, and Springer Spaniels. These dogs tend to trigger allergy symptoms in sensitive individuals.

Dogs that don’t make good pets for most allergy sufferers are not bad breeds. It’s just that these dogs tend to produce an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals more often because they shed more, produce more dander, and their saliva often contains more of the protein produced by the sebaceous glands which causes an allergic reaction in some humans.

If you do have allergies to dogs, one of the most important things to consider when choosing a dog is to be aware that not all hypoallergenic dogs are 100% allergy free. You can’t be 100% sure that you won’t have a reaction to a dog until you have spent some time with it. In some allergic individuals, an allergic reaction can be immediate, while for others the reaction can be delayed. Try to spend several hours interacting with a dog before choosing to proceed with adoption. You can ask if it’s possible to take the dog home for several days to be sure your allergy is not affected by the dog you’ve chosen. Many breeders and shelters will allow potential pet adopters a chance to try out a pet.

Trying out a pet is not like buying a new dress or coat and then returning it a few days later because you don’t like the way it looks on you. You should only ask to take a pet home on a tryout basis if you are positive you would want to keep, and love, the dog if it doesn’t become a problem for your allergy or allergies. Think about the well-being of the animal as well as your own well-being. Taking a dog home and then returning it shortly thereafter can be traumatic for the dog and may make it skittish the next time a human shows an interest in it.