Facts, Prevention, and Relief for Allergies to Dogs

Updated
Updated

Millions of Americans suffer from dog allergies. Although dog allergies aren’t as common as cat allergies, more households have dogs. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, as many as 38% of households have at least one dog, compared to the 25% with cats.

In short, it can be hard for those with dog allergies to avoid their triggers and find relief. It can be even harder to deal with if you or someone you love has a pet dog. Fortunately, Wyndly can help you find relief.

Set up an allergy consultation with Wyndly to get a personalized allergy plan, or keep reading to learn more about dog allergies.

What Is a Dog Allergy?

You have a dog allergy when your immune system overreacts to dander or other dog allergens. In response to these allergens, your body produces antibodies that cause your symptoms.

Not everyone will have the same reaction to dog allergies. Symptoms can vary and range from mild to severe.

Common Symptoms

Dog allergies can sometimes be hard to identify since they share common symptoms with many other airborne allergens.

Here are some symptoms you can watch out for:

  • Coughing
  • Hives
  • Runny nose
  • Congestion
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rash on face, chest, or neck

Also, people who have asthma and dog allergies are at increased risk of dog allergens triggering an asthma attack.

Dog allergy symptoms tend to be at their worst when you’re in the vicinity of a dog or if you’re around dog owners.

Where Is Dog Dander Found?

Dog dander is light and sticky. It has no problem sticking to a variety of surfaces, making it difficult to remove it from your house when you have a dog. Dog owners can also have dog dander on them or bring in dog dander when they visit your home. If you have a dog, you’ll need to do extra cleaning to keep the dander in your home at a minimum.

Can You Be Allergic to Dog Hair or Saliva?

While allergens can be triggered by dog hair or fur, it’s more common for dander, saliva, or urine to be the primary allergen. You may be allergic to one or multiple dog allergens.

Testing and Diagnosis

The sooner you can diagnose your dog allergy, the sooner you can start finding relief for your symptoms. Although you might be able to guess that dogs are the cause of your allergies, it’s often difficult to know for certain. Airborne allergens are everywhere, and things like dust, pollution, and mold can be a year-round issue. Ruling out the other allergens is always recommended.

To make diagnosing your allergies as easy as possible, you can order an at-home allergy test from Wyndly. This will reveal your allergies with a pain-free test delivered straight to your door.

This is how different allergy testing options work:

Old-Fashioned Method: Skin Prick Test at Your Doctor’s Office

Skin prick testing requires you to go to the doctor to find out your allergen triggers. It’s often uncomfortable, and it takes time out of your day. You’ll go to the doctor’s office, they’ll administer a test where they prick or scrape your skin with a needle tipped with different allergens, and then they’ll observe the areas they pricked for itchiness, redness, or swelling. All in all, it’s not a pleasant experience. Instead, you can save yourself time and pain by getting an at-home test.

Modern and Efficient At-Home Method

  1. Get Wyndly’s at-home allergy test. We ship our CLIA-certified test straight to your door.
  2. Take the allergy test and send it back to us. Just do a quick finger prick test to provide us with a blood sample and mail it back when you’re done.
  3. Receive your personal allergy profile. Our doctor will interpret your results, create an allergy profile, and walk you through your personalized treatment plan.

Unlike self-diagnosis, an allergy test can reveal the full breadth of your allergies. This way you know exactly what you’re allergic to and how you can treat your symptoms. Allergy tests will often reveal allergies you weren’t even aware of, helping you to avoid those allergens in the future.

Treatment and Remedies

When you learn that dogs are the source of your allergies, you can begin limiting your exposure. You can also try different treatments to manage or rid yourself of symptoms.

Limiting Exposure

The first thing you should try is limiting your exposure to dogs. This will be easier for some people than others. If you have a pet dog, you’ll need to make more of an effort than someone who doesn’t.

When you own a dog, here are some methods you can try to reduce exposure to allergens:

  • Keep Your Dog Out of the Bedroom: It’s a good idea to keep your dog out of the room you sleep in. This way you’re not breathing in allergens through the night and waking up with symptoms.
  • Wash Your Hands After Petting or Playtime: When you’re done playing with your dog or petting them, it’s a good idea to wash your hands. This way you get the allergens off of your skin.
  • Train Dogs to Stay Off Furniture: For people with cats, it’s much harder to train your pet to stay off the furniture. Dogs, on the other hand, take to training much easier. Keeping dogs off furniture will help reduce your exposure to their dander.
  • Remove Carpet: When possible, remove carpeting from your home. Carpet captures allergens more than other surfaces. If you have carpet or rugs, vacuum and steam clean them often.
  • Brush Your Pet Outside: Brush your pet outside to loosen up dander and get as much off as possible. If you can, have someone else do this or wear a dust mask while you’re brushing them.
  • Bathe Your Pet Often: Bathing your pet once a week can help cut down on allergens.
  • Use a HEPA Filter: Installing a HEPA filter will help prevent dander and other allergens from continuously circulating in your home’s air.
  • Vacuum Often: Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter can reduce the level of dog allergens in your home.
  • Let Your Dog Be Outside More Often: If the weather is comfortable, allow your dog to spend some more time outside during the day.

If you don’t own a dog, be sure to take measures to reduce allergens in the following situations.

  • Clean After Hosting Pet Owners: If friends or family members who own dogs come for a visit, make sure to clean thoroughly after they leave.
  • Plan for Visits: If you’re visiting someone with a dog, see if they don’t mind keeping the dog out of the room where you’ll be sleeping. If it’s not an overnight visit, see if they are willing to put the dog in a different room or let it outside. Also, take allergy medication in preparation for the visit.
  • Keep Your Distance: If you’re in an area with dogs, make sure to stay away from them.

Limiting exposure is a good step for reducing symptoms, but it can be a lot of work when you have a pet. It’s also not a guaranteed method for ridding yourself of symptoms.

Medications

When you’re having trouble managing your symptoms, you could try medication. These are some that may work for you.

  • Over-the-Counter Medications: Over-the-counter medications can be a quick fix to manage your symptoms. They can provide relief for up to 24 hours at a time, depending on the dosage. Common OTC meds are:
    • Antihistamines: As the name implies, antihistamines block the production of histamine for a short period. This can help relieve symptoms temporarily.
    • Nasal sprays: If congestion is your primary symptom, a nasal spray can sometimes reduce inflammation and provide relief.
    • Eye drops: Eye drops help to clear your eyes of allergens, reducing symptoms such as itching and redness.
  • Prescription Medications: As a last resort, prescription medications are sometimes recommended by doctors when OTC methods aren’t helping. Keep in mind that prescription medications may come with side effects, and they still only provide short-term relief.

When you have dog allergies, short-term and temporary relief isn’t the ideal solution. If you’re looking for long-term relief, you may want to try sublingual immunotherapy with allergy drops.

Sublingual Immunotherapy Allergy Drops

Sublingual immunotherapy allergy drops are an effective method of treating allergies instead of just managing the symptoms. Immunotherapy uses small, incrementally increasing doses of an allergen to retrain your immune system to ignore the substances.

Allergy drops are not only effective but also pain-free and can be taken from the comfort of your home. When you get allergy drops from Wyndly, you can get them delivered straight to your door.

When you have a pet, you shouldn’t have to compromise your time with them. Allergy drops can bring you long-term relief from your symptoms.

Get Lifelong Allergy Relief With Wyndly

Don’t settle for short-term symptom management when Wyndly can help you find lifelong relief from your dog allergies.

Wyndly will provide you with a personalized treatment plan that will bring you relief from your allergies. Using at-home sublingual immunotherapy allergy drops, you can retrain your immune system to ignore your triggers. Schedule your consultation today to get started.

Dog Allergy FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about dog allergies:

Can I get a hypoallergenic dog?

There is no true hypoallergenic dog since fur and hair typically aren’t triggers. Dander, saliva, and urine will be a problem regardless of breed.

Can I develop a tolerance for my dog?

While some people eventually get used to their dog, it can be an uncomfortable process of itching, sneezing, and runny noses. Immunotherapy works on the same principle of gradually developing a tolerance but with much more effective results.

Can dog allergies be fatal?

Any allergy can be fatal, though it’s rare for dog allergies. Seek emergency medical treatment if you’re experiencing breathing problems.

Why is my dog causing allergy symptoms if I don’t have a dog allergy?

Don’t forget that pollen and dust can easily stick to dogs when they go outside. It’s a good idea to wipe dogs off with a towel when they come in if you have seasonal allergies.

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