It’s no secret that some pet owners struggle with allergies. Cat allergies are common even among people who own cats. It’s a struggle. The problem is you really want to have a pet like the Belgian Malinois but then you know you are allergic to dogs. So the question is whether you should get the Belgian Malinois or not.
Unfortunately, Belgian Malinois are not hypoallergenic. If you have allergies to dogs, then the Belgian Malinois is not the right dog for you. Between the shedding and dander, you will have a hard time keeping your allergies at bay.
So what can you do about it? How can you recognize the symptoms and minimize their impact on the dog and yourself at the same time?
What Cause Belgian Malinois Not Be Hypoallergenic?
The two main problems that make the Belgian Malinois a nightmare for any owner with even light symptoms of allergies are shedding and dander. The thing is, one can’t say much about shedding. It’s not like the dog chooses when it drops all that dead hair on the carpet, couch, bed, floor, and just about anywhere it goes.
It’s a natural process that keeps its hide in good condition. Dead hair falls all the time. Even humans have that issue. But the problem is that the hair of the dog is chockfull of germs and bacteria. These can trigger allergies and there’s little the owner can do about it. Even bathing the dog every day will not make the problem go away. The chemicals on the hair can be just as devastating as the bacteria and germs.
Then you have the issue of aerosolized chemicals that come with shedding. Even if you try to stay away from the dog while your allergies are flaring, the air itself is packed with them. One stray hair falls on your arm is enough to send the allergies flaring. In other words, there’s nowhere to go. But isn’t there really? Read on to find out what you can do about it.
Belgian Malinois and Dander
Besides shedding, dander is probably one of the most pressing issues you have to deal with. When it comes to the Belgian Malinois, dander should be at the top of your priorities. It fills the air and finds its way into your nose and lungs creating havoc. In severe cases, you might feel like you can’t breathe. It’s that bad.
Unlike shedding, dander is almost invisible. You can bathe the dog regularly and apply the solutions we’ll discuss later. But unless you are aware of the problem, dander can creep up on you and before you know it your allergies have got the better of you.
Of course, visiting a vet will help and discover the problem before it gets worse. But as we mentioned, this problem can go undetected for a long time. Even if you check the dog’s hide regularly, you might miss the little flakes of white discarded skin cells at the root of the hair.
So it’s always better to keep an eye out for the spread of dander. This will help you prevent the problem from becoming a health disaster or even a life threatening situation.
How Can I Tell if I am Allergic to My Belgian Malinois? (Common Symptoms)
Whether you’re allergic to the Belgian Malinois or not is a question that the answer to it usually comes too late. By that I mean, sometimes you won’t know on the first day that you bring the dog home. Maybe you have gone all your life feeling fine around dogs until you decide to own one. Then months down the road the symptoms flare up.
The first sign is difficulty breathing. You can’t breathe well. It feels like the air is packed with millions of pollen. Then your lungs feel warm like you’ve just inhaled chili flakes. But it’s not chili flakes that you inhaled, it’s dander. You gasp for breath and rush to take your meds. You open the windows to allow fresh air in or rush outdoors to escape the noxious air.
Another symptom might be the rash on the skin. Hair from the dog falls on your bare arm or you touch the dog’s hide. Next thing, your skin is itchy. It becomes red and you have to scratch it. Then it spread up to your shoulder and neck. Now you’re itching all over. You scratch vigorously and it only makes it worse. These are all symptoms of allergy.
What Should I Do to Treat an Allergic Reaction Caused by My Belgian Malinois?
Once you realize that you are really allergic to your Belgian Malinois, there are only two options here. The first is to check with a doctor to get the right meds and the second to take precautions. So let’s see how you can do that to minimize the impact of this issue.
It’s usually a good idea to have a general checkup before you get your dog home. This is especially true if this is the first time you own a dog. Make sure you are not prone to any allergies caused by dander or dog hair. Of course not many people do that. When you have lived your entire life allergy-free, the last thing to cross your mind is to check whether you’re allergic to pets or not.
Even if you haven’t been allergic to pets before, it can start at any stage in your life. Out of the blue, you become allergic. So this is not something to put off or hope it will go away on its own. Immediately consult a doctor and seek medical help.
If you have prescribed meds for allergies, you should carry them everywhere with you. In the car, when you go to the park, or anywhere you take your dog with you. That way if the allergies flare up, you’ll have the meds handy to get them under control.
How to Avoid Allergies from Being Triggered by Belgian Malinois?
The thing about the Belgian Malinois is that they don’t shed all the time. Nor do they have that dander issue raging at all times. It comes and goes. And so will your allergies. When the shedding starts, you will have all the rash and swollen body members. The shedding stops, you go back to normal.
So you can take precautions to avoid getting in contact with the dog during this time. If you can keep it outside all the time that would be fine. However, make sure the dog is comfortable and has plenty of water and food. If the weather is harsh either it’s too cold or too hot, it’s inhumane to keep the dog out there. Consider sending the dog away to a friend’s place to take care of them during that time.
Make sure the place is well ventilated. Keep windows open as much as possible to allow air to carry away the pathogens and dander hanging in the house. Vacuum the place regularly to suck away any hair or dander laying on the furniture.
What Can Hypoallergenic Families Do to Help with Allergic Reactions?
The problem with allergies is that they are hereditary. If you have it, chances are the children will have it too. If it’s hard for you to deal with it, imagine what a child will go through. Worse, it could be fatal in some severe cases. So if you find that you or a member of your family is allergic, you should take the same precautions we discussed earlier.
Keep the dog away when it’s shedding time or if it has a dander problem. This can keep your family safe until the shedding is over. You might consider lending the dog to a friend for a while.
Tips on How to Live With a Belgian Malinois and Allergies
Dogs and allergies go hand in hand. The good news is, you can still keep your Belgian Malinois even if you have allergies. It’s just a balancing act. You need to juggle your dog and your meds all at the same time. Keep your meds handy with you wherever you take your dog.
Keep the place clean at all times. Dust with shedding can increase the chances of those allergies flaring up again. Cleaning also takes care of the dander and shedding issues and helps give you peace of mind.
Don’t Make Your Belgian Malinois an Outdoor Dog
Another issue that makes allergies such a big problem is when the dog goes out and plays in the dirt. This not only increases the shedding but also fills the dog’s hair with pathogens and germs. In other words, even if you don’t have allergies, a dirty dog can give you allergies in no time.
That doesn’t mean that you should keep the dog inside at all times. That’s inhumane as well. But since the dog gets dirty playing outside, then a bath is in order every time the dog goes out. This helps it stay clean. Regular bathing also cleans the dog’s hide off the dead cells and dander.