Allergy Attacks

What to Do If Your Pup’s the Problem

By Camp Bow Wow


Itchy eyes, runny nose, congestion — fall allergies are ramping up. Grasses, molds, ragweed, Fido…. Oh no! Outside pollens cause enough problems without worrying that your precious pup is making you feel sick. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, as much as 10% of the U.S. population is allergic to dogs. The dander that clings to pet hair is the culprit causing most people’s allergy problems. 


Unless your reaction is truly unbearable – like worsening asthma that causes trouble breathing – the idea that you might have to give up your precious pooch is unthinkable! The good news: there are ways to control allergy symptoms. You’ll probably need to continue to take allergy medication or look into shots but start with these steps to remove as many irritants as possible from your home. 

Invest in a HEPA air purifier with a filter to catch the dander and pet hair drifting throughout your home. Fabrics trap allergens, so it would be wise to remove drapes, toss the sofa blankets and pillows and replace your carpet with hardwood or tile flooring. Did you know most of the dust you see is actually made of dead skin cells - yours and from your pets? Vacuum and dust frequently to remove particles from surfaces. 


Train your pup not to camp out on your furniture or in your bed. In fact, your allergies will be less severe if you keep your bedroom a pet-free zone.


While you can’t stop your pup from shedding, you can minimize the volume. Brush him to encourage the dander to fall off (outside), use a dander-trapping brush like the Furminator and bathe your pet at least once a week with minimizing shampoo.


Allergic and Adding a New Family Member? To Doodle or Not to Doodle

If you don’t presently own a pup and are considering adding to your pack, there are dogs that are known to cause fewer problems with allergies due to their type of fur (or lack thereof). While no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, certain breeds have a predictable, non-shedding coat that produces less dander, according to the American Kennel Club. Consider Poodles, Terriers, and hairless dogs, as well as other popular breeds like the Maltese or Bichon Frise.


The AKC suggests allergic prospective pet parents spend 15-20 minutes with an animal to see how the breed affects them. “While someone might have a great reaction to, say, a Schnauzer, their reaction might be less with an American Hairless Terrier or even a Portuguese Water Dog.” They also caution against “designer” doodles. “Mixed-breed dogs or dogs mixed with Poodles have unpredictable genes and do not result in non-shedding dogs. Allergy sufferers will be better off with a purebred dog.” 

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