- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Natural Treatments for People With Dog Allergies
Many people adopt a dog or bring a new pet into the home without even thinking about whether or not they might be allergic to dogs. Pet allergies are the number one reason why dog owners are forced to give up their animals. Undiagnosed allergies to dogs can contribute greatly to the number of animals that are euthanized each year due to negligent care. Before bringing a puppy home for the first time, it is best to determine if allergies will be a factor in pet ownership. It also helps to know what can be done to control allergies within the home.
Controlling pet dander is often the key to controlling allergy symptoms. Many people who are allergic to dogs think that it is the pet's fur that they are reacting to. However, allergic reactions are actually caused by dander. Dander is a fine dust that is left in a dog or cat's fur by either saliva or oils secreted by the skin. There are several things that dog owners can do to control dander and keep pet allergies at bay.
Grooming is an important aspect of managing pet dander. This includes bathing the dog. For people who are extremely sensitive to pet allergies, the dog can be taken to a professional groomer for bathing. Routine baths prevent skin cells from excreting excess oils, reducing allergic reactions in dog owners. Rinsing the dog off in between baths can also help control pet dander. Brushing the dog regularly with either a brush or a grooming mitt also removes built-up pet dander from fur, but grooming should not be done inside of the home if someone is allergic to dogs.
Pet dander also builds up in areas where dogs lay. Carpets, drapes, and bedding can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive people. Keeping dogs out of bedrooms and off of furniture can reduce the amount of pet dander left behind. Washing a pet's bed frequently, as well as shampooing carpets, can also remove any pet dander that is left behind.
Over time, some people that are allergic to dogs build up an immunity to pet allergens, but this is not always the case. The body can get used to certain allergens, reducing the impact of symptoms. For those who are less fortunate in overcoming their dog allergies, over-the-counter allergy medications can provide some relief. Room air cleaners that contain a HEPA filter can also reduce pet dander in the air and provide some comfort for allergy sufferers. Vacuum cleaners should also contain a HEPA filter in order to effectively remove particles from furniture and carpets.
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