People who’ve always wanted a dog but can’t have one because they are allergic to them may still have some hope for canine companionship.
By Guest Blogger, Anita Hammon
Some dogs may not trigger dander allergies as much as others. Alternatively, you can try these remedies to reduce your allergic reaction to dogs.
If you sneeze, cough, or wheeze when you’re around dogs, it could be their dander or the proteins in their saliva that are the culprits. Pet dander is flakes of dead skin that all dogs have in their fur. In essence, you are not actually allergic to their fur but to the dead skin they shed.
The proteins in a dog’s saliva, called Immunoglobin E, are antibodies produced by their immune systems. These antibodies protect dogs from parasites. However, the antibodies are also found in some hydrolyzed dog foods.
Hydrolyzed foods break down quickly when mixed with water so that they are easier to digest. If you must have a dog, here are some ideas to help overcome your allergic reactions.
Get a “Hypoallergenic” Dog
Unfortunately, a truly hypoallergenic dog doesn’t exist, but some breeds shed less dander than others, reducing your reaction to them. Not shedding their coat means dander doesn’t get everywhere in your home. There are other advantages of non-shedding dogs as well – for one, their fur won’t shed on your furniture, carpets, or hardwood floors.
Do some research to learn more about getting a puppy on the list of no or low shedding dogs, including:
- Yorkshire Terriers
- Bichon Frise
- Irish Water Spaniels
If you have allergic reactions to dogs, limit where they go in your home and your interactions with them. Try to make them stay out of your bedroom, and don’t let your dog sleep on your bed.
Also, use a HEPA air purifier to remove particles and allergens from the air. However, for pet owners (and especially their children), the air purifier is a preferable solution because who can resist hugging, kissing, and playing with a cute puppy?
Get Recommendations for Anti-Dander Shampoos
While all dogs have dander, some have worse cases of it due to:
- Drier skin in the wintertime
- Bacterial infections
- Yeast infections
- Internal or external parasites
A bad case of dog dandruff can easily trigger allergies in humans who are bothered by pet dander. To reduce allergens, bathe your dog with an oatmeal, anti-dander shampoo that your vet can recommend to you.
For cases that could be caused by allergies, infections, or parasites, have your vet examine your pet and treat them when they determine the cause of their dandruff.
Improve Their Diet
Since dander can worsen due to dry skin, moisturize your canine companion’s skin with topical creams to improve it. Although there are creams created specifically to moisturize dog skin, you can save some money using coconut oil.
Another way to reduce dry skin is to feed them a healthier diet. Starting in puppyhood, add oils or oil supplements with Omega-3 fatty acids to their food.
Omega-3s can reduce dandruff by at least 50%. Adding olive or coconut oil to dry diets will also help keep their skin supple and itch-free.
If you want to add a puppy to your family, but you’re concerned about someone who has allergies, try these solutions to improve your dog’s skin condition and your family’s life.
Anita Hammon is an avid animal lover with a lifetime of pet ownership and expertise that helps guide her writing about puppies and dogs. She believes that a puppy becomes a family member, so she writes about their care to help you and your family enjoy your fur baby for years to come.