What’s animal dander?
There is a slight misconception around dog allergies as most people assume it is the fur they are allergic to. However, as I have explored in some of my other blogs, this simply isn’t the case. Instead most people are allergic to animal dander – the skin, saliva and urine that dog’s produce. Therefore, regardless of the size or type of dog, they still have the potential to bring out allergy symptoms such as sneezing, congestion and itchy skin.
If you suffer from an allergy, grooming your dog can be a little problematic so if you can, get someone who doesn’t have an allergy to brush and wash your dog. Though better still, get the expertise of a professional dog groomer.
If you do manage to persuade someone else to take on the role of grooming, ensure they do it outdoors to reduce your contact with allergens.
When suffering from allergies it is often recommended that you wash your dog regularly to help your symptoms however, there is a balance to be reached here.
Too many baths and the dog’s skin can become dry though equally, too few and not only will the animal produce lots of dander, they could develop skin problems. Once a month is usually enough, though if they get particularly dirty whilst out walking, or if they have skin problems, it may need to be more frequent.
So, regardless of your allergy, my advice here would be to remain at one doggy bath per month unless your companion is looking particularly muddy or smelly!
To prevent dander from spreading round your home, you should aim to wash your dog’s bedding at least once a week. Also, it can be hard to resist the cuddles, but if you have an allergy your dog’s bed should definitely not be your bed!
You mustn’t resort to keeping your dog outdoors in order to ease your allergy symptoms as they require warmth and comfort just like we do! However, you can keep pet-free zones within your home to give yourself some relief.
Although it’s lovely to snuggle up in bed with your dog, this definitely won’t help your allergy so it’s best to keep your bedroom and bed off limits. You spend a lot of time here at night and so if the room is full of animal dander, it won’t make for a comfortable sleep!
Alternatively, if your symptoms are particularly bad, you may want to think about restricting your dog to the kitchen. Although allergens can still collect on your clothes, this should reduce their spread throughout your home.
Whether it’s a plain old tennis ball or a multi-coloured Frisbee, dogs love their toys! However, they do tend to get covered in saliva so, to reduce the effects of this allergen toys should be soaked in warm water at least twice a week.
Animal dander will inevitably gather if you own a dog and unfortunately it’s near impossible to get rid of it completely. However, vacuuming and dusting a few times a week will, at least, get rid of some to help ease your symptoms. However, rather than use a regular duster, dampen a cloth and use this to wipe surfaces. This will collect dander rather than just pushing it around.
Allergens can collect easily in rugs and carpets so, if you have an allergy hardwood floor or vinyl flooring is preferable.
An air purifier may also may a good addition to your lounge or bedroom as this removes allergens from the air to create a more comfortable environment.
As a dog owner, whether it’s during the puppy training stage or just a night time leak, doggy accidents are near inevitable. When you suffer from an allergy not only is this frustrating, it can be incredibly uncomfortable too as your eyes and nose begin to stream. So, when cleaning up any mishaps make sure you wear gloves and use only allergy-friendly cleaning products. Also, ensure you wipe the mess up as soon as possible to avoid worsening your symptoms.
When the immune system detects an allergen it releases histamine in order to push it out. This increases blood flow to the affected area and, as a result, the skin becomes more sensitive than normal. Therefore, the harsh chemicals contained in most cleaning products could irritate the skin. Strong scents may also worsen symptoms in the nose and eyes. This is why I suggest choosing a natural cleaning product that contains no preservatives, detergents or enzymes.
Need more help?
Our Pollinosan Nasal Spray soothes and cleanses the nose to make it feel more comfortable so if your allergy causes symptoms like congestion, this is a good option.
Alternatively, our Moisturising Eye Drops provide relief from itching, watering and any soreness that animal dander may have caused.