Do you love dogs but suffer from allergies every time you are near one? Dog allergies can be a real issue for many people, as they can cause symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes. However, there is a common misconception that being allergic to dogs means you can never own one. In this blog post, we will explore whether it is possible to build immunity to dog allergies and what steps you can take to reduce your symptoms.
What Causes Dog Allergies?
Before we dive into whether it is possible to build immunity to dog allergies, it is essential to understand what causes them. Dog allergies are caused by an overreaction of the immune system to proteins found in a dog’s skin cells, saliva, or urine. When these proteins come into contact with the body, the immune system produces histamines, which can cause allergy symptoms.
It is important to note that not all dogs produce the same proteins, which means that some breeds may be less likely to cause an allergic reaction than others. Breeds such as poodles and schnauzers are often recommended for people with allergies because they have hair instead of fur and shed less, which can reduce the amount of allergens in the air.
Can You Build Immunity To Dog Allergies?
One common belief is that exposure to dogs can help build immunity to dog allergies over time. However, this is not entirely accurate. While it is true that repeated exposure to allergens can reduce symptoms, it is not possible to build up immunity to dog allergies. This is because the immune system is not capable of learning to tolerate certain proteins that cause an allergic reaction.
That being said, there are steps you can take to reduce your symptoms and make living with a dog more comfortable.
How To Reduce Your Symptoms
1. Keep Your Home Clean
Regular cleaning of your home can help reduce the amount of allergens in the air. Be sure to use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, which can trap smaller particles such as pet dander, and wash your dog’s bedding frequently.
2. Bathe Your Dog Regularly
Bathing your dog regularly can help reduce the amount of allergens they produce. Use a gentle shampoo and make sure to dry them thoroughly afterward.
3. Create A Dog-Free Zone
Designate a specific area of your home as a dog-free zone, such as your bedroom. This can help reduce your exposure to allergens while you sleep.
4. Consider Allergy Medication
If your symptoms are severe, you may want to consider taking allergy medication. Talk to your doctor about the best options for you.
5. Consult An Allergist
If you are considering getting a dog but are unsure if you are allergic, consult an allergist. They can perform tests to determine if you are allergic and recommend steps you can take to reduce your symptoms.
While it is not possible to build immunity to dog allergies, there are steps you can take to reduce your symptoms and make living with a dog more comfortable. Regular cleaning, bathing your dog, creating a dog-free zone, considering allergy medication, and consulting an allergist are all effective ways to manage your allergies and enjoy the company of your furry friend.