Allergy to dogs is relatively common, as dog allergen can be found in public places. These allergens are found (in lesser amounts) in places where pets have never been present, such as schools, workplaces and other public spaces. Since dander allergens are sticky, they can be brought to these places on the clothing of pet owners.
It appears that some people can be allergic to certain breeds of dogs and not to others. While there is no such thing as a non-allergic dog, some breeds can cause less allergies than other breeds. Some breeds are hypoallergenic, meaning they produce less dander and less symptoms. But, there are differences in the allergens non-hypoallergenic dogs carry. It is possible that your neighbor’s dog makes you sneeze uncontrollably, but your dog doesn’t induce one sniffle.
The major dog allergen is primarily found in dog saliva. The dander is actually found in the mouths of dogs and is transferred to the fur via licking. These allergens are extremely sticky and will remain in the air and on your dog for quite some time.
How can symptoms be controlled?
For people with dog allergy, avoidance of dogs is the mainstay of therapy. Dog owners may not want to part with their pets, despite the symptoms they endure. Short of getting rid of your dog, here are some ways to decrease allergen exposure:
- Ensure the dog is neutered
- Bathe the dog at least once a week
- Remove the dog from the bedroom
- Vacuum frequently
- Steam clean all carpets and upholstery
- Damp mop floors
- Wash hands frequently
- Wipe down solid surfaces
10 breeds that seem to cause the fewest allergies:
- Poodle and Poodle Hybrids
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier
- Lhasa Apso
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Shih Tzu
- Irish Water Spaniel
- Kerry Blue Terrier