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Almost every household in the world has a dog, totaling about two dogs for every ten people. Dog allergy usually occurs to people with asthma or existing allergies. However, some people can also become allergic to certain breeds or to the dog’s dander, urine or saliva.
The responsibility of the human immune system is to locate foreign substances, such as bacteria and viruses, and get rid of them immediately. When the immune system performs normally, it protects the body from various harmful diseases. However, people who experience dog allergy symptoms have hypersensitive immune systems, which react even to harmless proteins (called allergens) in a dog’s saliva, urine or dander.
Although you may consider your dog as a best friend, he or she secretes fluid and shed dead skin (dander) that contains allergens. These allergens accumulate on various surfaces in your home for as long as several months, sticking to walls, clothing carpets and other hard-to-clean surfaces.
While many people say that their dog allergy is caused by their dog’s hair, this is not true since pet’s fur does not contain allergen. However, it collects dander and other allergens like pollen and dust.
Dog allergy occurs when the allergens from your dog lands on your eyes or nose, resulting in itching, swelling, stuffy nose, inflamed eyes or inflammation. Even a lick or scratch from your dog could result in rashes.
Some symptoms of dog allergy only appear several days after allergen contact. However, when you inhale airborne allergens, these harmful bacteria could get into the lungs and could mix with your antibodies. As a result, you can experience severe respiratory problems, such as wheezing, coughing or shortness of breath for more than 20 minutes upon contact. Intense cases could cause rashes on your neck, face and upper chest.
Dog Allergy Prevention
If your dog is living inside the house, you should try to move him or her outdoors for a couple of months. If you have been diagnosed with dog allergy, it is important that you perform regular bath and cleaning. Evaluate if keeping your dog outdoors have reduced your symptoms or if you still want your dog to live inside the house.
If, for some reason, you decide to keep your pet indoors, make sure to restrict your bedroom, toilet and kitchen from him or her. Since these three rooms are where you spend most of your time in, you should keep these rooms extremely clean from possible allergens sticking on walls, carpets and furniture.
Just as medicines used in treating other allergies, you can reduce the symptoms of dog allergy by taking asthma pills or sprays, antihistamines, nasal steroids and allergy shots. Consult your doctor about the most effective medication to lessen dog allergy symptoms.