According to estimation, about 10% of the population suffers from a
pet allergy, with dog allergies being the second most common. It is
still believed that many breeds of dogs, especially those with short
hair or those who do not shed hairs, are suitable for people susceptible
to dog allergies, but this is not applicable to all the cases. It has
been researched that the dog's fur is not essentially responsible for
the allergic reaction. Rather, a protein found in the dog's dander,
saliva and urine leads to dog allergies.
The dogs that may cause allergies to you can be one among the following divisions:
Small Dogs - They distribute allergens
Dogs with Extremely Short or No Hair - In these type of dogs, the dandruff and saliva are more allergenic
Dogs with "Human Like" Hair - The effects may be very less.
Dogs with Non-Shedding Hair - Its coat could drag in more number of dust and allergens.
Symptoms of dog allergies usually occur shortly after exposure, but
can be visible after two to three hours, as well. The symptoms are
mostly airborne allergies like coughing, wheezing, red and itchy eyes,
watery eyes, runny nose or stuffy nose, sneezing and occasionally, a
skin reaction. If a dog drools on a person, prone to allergic reactions
and the dog saliva touches the skin, he or she might get hives or a
rash. In case of severe reactions, hives on the face or chest are seen. A
person with asthma can have sudden breathing problems due to an
The immune system of the sufferers reacts to proteins in the dog's
urine, saliva and the dry flakes of skin, also known as a pet dander,
shed off by the dog. The immune system recognizes these proteins as
foreign bodies or antigens, and releases immunoglobulin antibodies. This
in turn releases histamine and other chemicals that cause the allergic
reactions in the body. A person having a family history of pet or dog
allergies is more likely to have dog allergies, similar to a person
having other airborne allergies.
Diagnosis for dog allergies is usually done through a blood test, or a
skin test. During the skin test, the skin is pricked and exposed to the
dog proteins. If a reaction develops, then the person is confirmed to
having dog allergies. In cases where both tests show a negative result,
but the symptoms still persist (usually when a person has a dog or is
frequently exposed), then it could be a reaction to a substance the dog
brings into the house on its fur, like pollen or mold.
Limiting and avoiding exposure to dogs is the best treatment, though
this is often not possible. The reactions can be treated by
antihistamines and decongestants, but in some severe cases, steroids are
A person who cannot restrict exposure to dogs can also opt to have
allergy shots. These are not always effective and the impact can be
cumulative, so it can take more than one course to see a difference.
Frequent bathing of the dog to reduce the amount of dander and keeping
certain areas of the house dog free, for instance, the bedroom and rooms
with carpeting, can help.
*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.