You love animals. A few years ago you fell in love with the cutest puppy at the local animal shelter. You promised to love, honor and cherish this little pal ‘til death do you part. Now you or someone in your home has developed an allergic reaction to pet dander. The doctor says the dog has got to go. You are torn. There has to be an alternative solution, right?
While saying good-bye to your canine companion may be the end result, there are some things that you may be able to try first. Understanding the allergy a bit more is a helpful start. Many people believe that dog hair is the problem, but, according to WebMD
, it is actually a protein found in saliva, urine and dry skin (dander). Some immune systems react to this harmless protein as if it were any other viral or bacterial infection.
A key strategy for keeping the dog is to help the allergic person to avoid these three things. It may be difficult to keep some dogs from licking people, so washing the area immediately after the tongue bath is an effective solution. Pet dander is the most difficult to avoid because dander can be anywhere: on the furniture, on clothes, on the floor, in the air, etc.
There are a number of ways to minimize the amount of dander in your home. The best thing to do is clean. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter
. This type of filter will trap pet dander rather than send it back into the air. There are also HEPA
air purifiers that will remove pet dander and other allergens from the air as it circulates through the purifier.
Other things to do
include keeping the dog out of the bedroom. If the dog has previously had access to this room, clean the room thoroughly, then keep the door shut. Wash your hands after petting the dog, and do not touch your eyes. Keeping your dog cleaned and brushed will also help reduce the amount of dander in the air. The allergic individual should probably avoid this task, or tackle it while wearing a face mask and gloves.
People with pet dander allergies react with varying degrees of intensity. The suggestions discussed here can be part of a solution that allows you to continue to live with your pet with little or no allergy attack. Others may not be so fortunate, but may be able to live with their pet if they are willing to take allergy medication
often. For some, though, the best solution may still be to find another home for the dog. Sometimes the right thing to do is not always the easiest.