Many pet owners suffer from allergies that have them sneezing and wheezing, and may develop them long after living with their dogs or other pets. Allergies may get so bad that pet owners consider giving their pets up completely, but this isn’t required. There are many things that dog owners can do to get rid of their allergy symptoms before they can become a painful nuisance.
What Causes Dog Allergies?
The simple answer for this is proteins. Pet dander is found on cats, dogs, and other domesticated furry animals, which leaves many vulnerable to severe allergy symptoms. However, it isn’t the pet dander itself that causes allergies, but rather it’s the proteins that the dander carries. The protein is also found in dogs’ urine and saliva, and they’re easily airborne.
Some of the symptoms this protein causes include itchiness, throat irritation, nasal congestion, sneezing, or even more severe symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing that can be more unpleasant. The response to these proteins is usually genetically linked.
Steps to Take to Prevent Allergies
There are several ways pet owners can avoid allergies throughout the year. They include:
- Using antihistamines – An effective way to temporarily alleviate allergy symptoms is to use antihistamines. Unfortunately, they aren’t a permanent solution.
- Keeping pets out of the bedroom – If pets aren’t allowed in the bedroom, pet owners prone to allergies will likely be able to get to sleep more easily, and get a full night’s sleep.
- Using a HEPA filter – HEPA filters help avoid the spread of allergens including dust, pollen and dander. Installing them in your home’s ventilation can help significantly.
- Cleaning the home frequently – Another way to avoid spreading allergens is to vacuum regularly, clearing the home of dust buildup and other pollutants. Shampooing carpets on a regular basis will also keep allergens out.
- Washing hands – People can easily avoid exposing themselves to pet dander by washing their hands after coming into contact with pets. This will prevent an allergic reaction when rubbing your eyes or touching other parts of the face.
- Getting allergy shots – Allergy shots, or allergy vaccines, are helpful in developing antibodies that can prevent an allergic reaction around pets. They take some time to work, however, and may not actually work effectively for up to 5 years of monthly shots.
While pet allergies can be tough on dog owners or visitors, there are many ways to prevent symptoms, giving people the ability to love their pets without putting up with irritating deterrents. After all, nothing should stand between you and the love you have for your dog, including allergies.