Struggling with pet allergies? Here's what to do | The Ear, Nose and Throat Institute
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Struggling with pet allergies? Here’s what to do

As we roll right into summer and breathe in the fresh air, tan our skin, and take long walks on the sand, there are also some negatives of most everyone’s favorite season (Fall is better, just sayin’). 

But how can summer be negative? It means shorts, less layers, and vacations. Sun’s out, guns out. Right? 

Wrong. 

Although summer is filled with good times, it’s filled with bad too. One of those bad things is our furry friends shedding their fluff, leading to further sneezing and allergic reactions on our end. It’s rather ironic that we fall in love with these four-legged mammals but suffer while being around them. 

But wait! I’m not suggesting getting rid of your pet. Not at all. Just hang with me here for a minute. 

Pet fur vs. hair

The myths and facts about hair and fur

Many people believe that hairy dogs, not furry dogs, are hypoallergenic and don’t cause the same allergic reactions. But don’t hate on the floofy cloud puppies just yet. 

“There’s not really such a thing as a hypoallergenic animal…” 

According to a scientific site called Helix, ‘“There’s not really such a thing as a hypoallergenic animal,” said Dr. James Sublett, the vice chair of  Arlington Heights-based American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s Indoor Environments Committee. “You can be allergic to any warm-blooded animal.”’ (Diffin, Glick, 2009). 

The article goes on to say, “That’s because animal fur doesn’t cause allergic reactions, said Sublett, who practices in Louisville, KY. Dogs with long hair such as cocker spaniels or those with closely-cropped fur such as Labrador retrievers are equally likely to make someone sneeze, and even hairless dogs like the Chinese crested or sphinx cats can produce allergens.” 

So, then what’s causing the allergic reactions? 

Well, it’s really anything the animal can release into an atmosphere. One of the more common items being dead skin cells, which explains why shedding animals can make those reactions more exaggerated. 

“It’s their saliva and urine as well. So if your dog slobbers a lot, that could be causing all that pain and suffering.” 

So if its skin cells can’t we just throw some Head & Shoulders in their fur and be done with it? 

Not that simple. It’s more than just the skin cells. It’s their saliva and urine as well. So if your dog slobbers a lot, that could be causing all that pain and suffering. 

How do you solve pet allergies? 

Don’t fret! There are solutions to pet allergies that don’t require you to get rid of your pet children. You need them and they need you. Enough said. But, when it comes down to it, you’re suffering greatly for your pet. It’s a sacrifice of love, affection, and slobbery kisses. 

Give them a bath

They may not enjoy it, but it’ll make your cohabitation more manageable. According to Everyday Health, giving your pet a bath once a week will prevent excess dander and saliva in the home (Theobald, 2018). If giving them a bath causes you to have reactions, consider a groomer. 

pet allergies - bath

Leave them outside

It’s scary out there in the big world, but your dog is a descendant of the wolf (even if they hardly resemble them now). Leaving them outside keeps your home dander and saliva free while ensuring your pet enjoys the outdoors, like they’re supposed to. 

Sleep without them

They may be cuddly teddy bears and help you sleep, but if you’re allergic to them, how is sleeping next to them helping the situation? It’s not. And even if they’re not sleeping in your bed with you but still in the same room, that may be cause enough to ruin your good time. Put their bed outside of your sleeping space and wash their bed often. 

Get an allergy test and some of that treatment 

Nothing’s better than getting an allergy test to find out exactly what you’re allergic to. From there, allergy treatment (immunotherapy) can happen effectively. This means your body can develop a tolerance for those allergens, allowing you to live the good life without sneezing into your crush’s face or having your eyes water during a sad movie, making people think rightly that you’re crying. 

If you need an allergy test, the ENT Institute can provide you with fast, effective results. Call 770-740-1860 to schedule a same-day appointment. 

Citations

Diffin, E., Glick, T. (2009, May 19th) Fido Fact or Fiction: The Truth About Hypoallergenic Pets [Health Blog] Retrieved on June 1st, 2020 from https://helix.northwestern.edu/article/fido-fact-or-fiction-truth-about-hypoallergenic-pets

Theobald, M., (2018, January 5th) Best and Worst Dog Breeds For People With Allergies [Health Blog] Retrieved on June 1st, 2020 from https://www.everydayhealth.com/allergy-pictures/best-and-worst-dog-breeds-for-people-with-allergies.aspx

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