Statistics show 60-70% of all American households include at least one dog or cat. That number means that up to 10% of the population suffers from some sort of allergy due to these animals.
The most common culprit to animal allergies is the cat, but running second is the dog. Because dog allergies are so common, there is plenty of information available to show how to treat and manage an allergic reaction you may have to your pet.
If your reaction is not severe, and you don't have other complications like asthma, you can successfully manage your allergic condition and enjoy symptom-free days.
Identifying a Dog Allergy
If you believe that you or a family member might be allergic to the family pet, remove that person from the environment of the animal for a week or two. Having done this may not be the most effective means of diagnosis, because pet dander can continue to remain around the environment for at least up to six months after the dog is removed.
If this process is too difficult or you can't do it; ask your doctor to test you for dog allergies. He will take a family history and some blood tests to determine this for you.
Dog allergies usually come from allergens that are contained within the dander and saliva of the dog. These allergens tend to have the ability to cling to many surfaces. This is the quality that makes it difficult to determine where the allergens are located in the home. Another problem is that pet owners, being attached to their pets, don't want their pets removed.
If your symptoms are mild, you may be able to keep your pet. By not allowing the dog in the bedroom the number of allergens are reduced that would normally be in this area. Secondly, getting rid of the carpet and having bare floors is another positive step in ridding your home of dog allergies.
An air filter with a HEPA filter can also be an effective means of keeping allergens at bay in particular areas of your home. As long as it is ran at least four hours every day, is the recommendation. Dog allergies are common for many people, but they don't have to control your life. With lifestyle changes and treatment options, you can enjoy life once again with your four-legged canine.