Owning a pet comes with plenty of perks from companionship to stress relief, unconditional love, and many other bonuses.
In most cases pet owners consider their pets as part of their family.
But what do you do when one of your family members is always making you sick?
We`re referring to the allergy-causing pet dander which can cause unpleasant and uncomfortable health complications like sinus pain, itchy eyes, a runny nose, or even skin reactions.
While you may not exactly become immune to dander, we’ll discuss some simple ways you can get rid of dog allergy symptoms.
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Please note that this advice is for informational purposes, and is NOT professional medical advice. If you suffer strong or severe allergy symptoms, we strongly encourage you to see a qualified medical specialist about your condition.
Tips For Eliminating Dog Allergy Symptoms
1. Clean More Often
Yes, I know cleaning is no fun, but pet dander, the most common type of dog-produced allergen, sticks to anything it lands on.
It takes some effort to reduce allergy-causing pet dander in your house, however simply cleaning household surfaces is sufficient to remove pet dander, and a quick clean every few days helps enormously.
You should also pay special attention to carpet, especially since foot traffic causes dander particles to continuously be thrown back into the air you breathe.
Did you know that dried dog saliva and urine also cause allergy symptoms?
If your dog likes to sleep in one spot on the carpet, then it’s likely there will be dried saliva there, and these particles can become airborne.
The best way to clean your carpet is to use a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filters, and for solid surfaces, a simple wipe with a damp cloth is sufficient to remove the dog dander.
2. Groom Your Pet Regularly
Let`s face it, most dog owners do not bathe their dogs as required, usually due to a lack of time, or not enjoying the chore of grooming.
Either way failing to bathe your dog will contribute to the build-up of allergens in your dogs coat.
Regular brushing can also be great to loosen and remove dead skin cells, but if you already have allergy symptoms then breathing the loosened particles can give you a nasty reaction – so wear a mask while you brush.
According to the Humane Society, bathing your dog at least once a week is sufficient to reduce the number of allergens in your dog by 84%.
Though a simple dip and scrubbing with plain water can do, it`s recommended that you bathe your dog using the a good dander shampoo.
Shampoo is not only essential for removing dander, but some have ingredients to improve your dogs skin, which in turn lowers the amount of dander produced.
Read our article about anti-itch shampoos for dogs to find out more.
3. Use Dander Removal Spray
For whatever reasons, you might find that bathing your dog is a grueling task.
If that`s so, using a dander spray remover is your next best option, they are extremely easy to use, and are recommended by vets and allergists.
Dander spray contains natural enzymes, which are responsible for fighting pet dander as well as reducing the pet odors.
The spray is handy, especially for pet owners who are expecting visitors who are allergic to dogs, and studies have found vastly reduced dander loads in homes where the spray is used weekly.
Most sprays come with a set of grooming gloves, so you just spray your dogs coat and brush them over with the gloves once a week – easy!
4. Install A HEPA Air Purifier
Your ability to clean your household items can only go so far. You`re surely going to miss some places, and there are times when you can’t get around to cleaning – life gets busy.
Installing HEPA filters in your HVAC system, or free-standing air purifiers is a great solution to filtering microscopic pet dander from the air you breathe in your home.
Air purifiers with HEPA filters work by drawing in small airborne particles and trapping them in the extremely fine filter, with pure clean air returned to the room.
What many users love about HEPA filters is that besides removing dander, they also remove other allergy-causing particles such as mold, lint, and dust.
Most importantly, the air filters can provide a constant flow of fresh and quality air into your household.
See our recommendations for effective HEPA furnace filters
5. Designate “Pet Free” Spaces In Your Home
Yes, as much as we often like to have our favorite friends sitting on our bed wagging their tails, if you’re an allergy sufferer then this brings the problem to the worst possible place.
Anywhere you spend large amounts of time will expose you to more allergens, so it’s worth thinking about where you do and don’t want your dog to be.
One other obvious place is your lounge suite, as you will likely sit there regularly binge-watching some bizarre new Netflix series!
Once you make a final decision, then you can either close doors to those rooms, or train your dog to know where they are allowed to go in your house.
6. Cover Your Furniture With Washable Hypoallergenic Covers
Allowing your dog to roam freely in every corner of your household, including the bedroom is not a good idea.
Once they are on your bed, your pooch is likely to leave traces of dander, which is highly likely to cause an allergic reaction while you sleep there for 8 hours night after night.
However much you try to restrict your dog from sleeping on your bed or lounge suite, sometimes they may sneak where they shouldn’t be – especially the cheeky ones!
Removable and washable covers are one way you can help combat this problem, as they will protect the surfaces underneath from getting loaded with allergens, and can be cleaned regularly.
7. Use A Dust Mite Spray
Aside from having allergic reactions to pet allergens, quite often people have reactions to the microscopic creatures that feed on those allergens – such as dust mites.
Reducing dander around your home will help reduce dust mite numbers, since they will have less food, however you can reduce the occurrence of dust mites further with special sprays.
8. Allergy Immunotherapy
Also referred to as allergy shots, allergy immunotherapy is a treatment option that lessens your reaction to the allergens you get treated for.
Similar to a vaccine jab, allergy shots work by decreasing your sensitivity to dog allergens, helping to greatly reduce your symptoms.
Allergy shots work by exposing the human body to mild amounts of allergy-causing contaminants, and helps the body to build up an immunity or tolerance to the allergens.
To get these you will need to speak to your doctor for advice.
9. Get Rid Of Your Dog
Before you begin demonizing me, this is the first thing an allergist will recommend, but obviously for any true dog lover this is the absolute last resort.
While giving your dog away is completely unthinkable, to some the daily misery of strong allergy symptoms is too much to handle.
Though the idea is heartbreaking, it does not mean you can never see your dog again.
You could take them to a farm, give them to a family member, or friend who you trust to look after and love your dog as much as you do.