Can An Allergic Person live With a Dog?
In many homes, dogs are considered to be a member of the family. So when someone in your home becomes allergic to your beloved pet, many families are at a loss of what to do with the family dog. It can be a real struggle when one family member desperately wants to keep a pet that makes another family member feel miserable. What is the solution? Schedule an appointment with a Chandler allergy doctor in order to get dog allergies properly diagnosed and managed, so that all of the members of your household feel good about keeping your furry friend around.
Dog Allergy Signs & Symptoms
Typically, a person who is allergic to dogs will experience symptoms of an allergic reaction right after petting or being near a dog. In more severe cases, a person may also notice allergy symptoms just from being in a home that has a dog without ever coming into contact with the dog or from brushing up against dog hair on someone else’s clothing.
Symptoms of an allergy to dogs include:
- A congested or runny nose
- Facial pain from congestion
- Watery, itchy eyes
- Coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightness or even wheezing
- Skin rashes or hives
Allergy symptoms are caused by an immune system response to the proteins, called allergens, which are found in dog hair, dander, saliva, and even urine. Contrary to popular belief, the severity of allergy symptoms is not caused by the length of a dog’s hair or how much it sheds. Dog breeds that are called “hypoallergenic” are not truly free of allergens and can still cause flare ups of allergy symptoms.
Diagnosing Dog Allergies
To diagnose a dog allergy, a Mesa allergy test will be performed by an allergy doctor. A skin prick test is usually considered to be the most reliable way to diagnose an allergy to dogs. At your appointment, your allergist will take a complete medical history, listen to your symptoms, and discuss any environmental factors. It’s a good idea to get an allergy test even if you feel sure your allergy symptoms are from dogs. This is because sometimes people discover that their symptoms are primarily caused by environmental allergens such as dust, mold, or pollen, rather than from their pet. Having confirmation of the cause of your allergy symptoms will help you get the most effective treatment.
How To Live With Pet Allergies If You Have No Choice
Avoiding contact with dogs or homes with dogs is usually considered the ideal way to live with a dog allergy. However, since many people don’t want to rehome their dog or end up in a difficult situation with other family members, try some of these strategies to help reduce your symptoms:
- Keep the dog out of the most frequently used rooms in your home, such as your bedroom and home office. Some people choose to restrict their dogs to areas with hardwood floors that are easier to dust and keep clean.
- Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after petting or playing with your dog.
- Consider eliminating carpets and rugs in your home that hold on to pet dander.
- Make sure to get your HVAC system cleaned annually.
- Run a quality air filter, such as a HEPA filter, continuously in your bedroom, home office, and/or living room. Over time, this can reduce overall allergens in the home.
- Get a quality vacuum cleaner designed for people with allergies. Many people choose to vacuum their homes daily or several times a week to keep up with shedding.
- Give your dog a weekly bath and keep your pet well groomed. Consider getting this done professionally so you can avoid the extra hair.
Treatment Options For Dog Allergies
In addition to lifestyle adjustments, there are different over-the-counter and prescription medication options to help treat your allergy symptoms. If you have a runny nose or congestion, your Queen Creek allergy expert may recommend a nasal steroid spray or an oral antihistamine. Watery, itchy eyes may be treated with antihistamine drops. Respiratory or asthma-like symptoms often respond well to inhaled corticosteroids or bronchodilators, which can help prevent or relieve various breathing symptoms. Your allergist will work with you to find the best treatment options for you.
Another popular treatment option is allergy immunotherapy, commonly called allergy shots. This very effective therapy works very well for dog and pet allergies. If you opt for immunotherapy, you’ll receive gradually increasing doses of an allergen – in this case, dog allergens – under supervision from your doctor. Your body will begin to develop a tolerance for the allergen so that you become desensitized and no longer react. For many people, this is the best solution because it enables them to continue spending time with their dog and means they no longer need to avoid dogs or continue to deal with annoying allergy symptoms.
Work With a Top Rated Allergist In Chandler, AZ
If you’re looking for an experienced team to help you diagnose and manage your allergies, schedule an appointment with San Tan Allergy and Asthma. Our providers offer innovative treatment options to get you back to feeling comfortable. We are a top allergy testing facility in Arizona with a work with a wide variety of allergenic conditions. For compassionate and effective care, contact us today!