Have you ever experienced the adverse effects of dog allergies? The sniffling, rubbing, and dry feeling inside of your body can be overwhelming and discomforting, and this is due to dog dander.
Pet danders are tiny dead skin cells – which leave your dog and enter into your system. People with a sensitive immune system may become averse to these foreign proteins and experience several symptoms. This floating dander causes symptoms like sneezing, coughing, dry throat, with watery and itchy eyes. Various breeds of dogs produce different levels of dander, so each case typically varies based on each person.
“Can dander harm”? “How can I get rid of it?” These questions will be answered, so keep reading with me to learn more about the significance of dog dander allergies.
Symptoms of Allergic Reaction to Dog Dander
When dead dog skin flies into your system, your body will try to fight it off at all cost by initiating “symptoms”.
The symptoms most common with an allergic reaction to dog dander are sneezing, facial pressure and pain, a consistent cough, along with a postnasal drip. More symptoms include nasal congestion, itchy nose, mouth, or roof of your mouth, in addition to itchy, watery, and red eyes.
The symptoms play a major role in defending your body from the foreign material that could harm you if it remains in your system.
What Does Dog Dander Look Like?
To the naked eye, dog dander looks like a big ball of hair that has collected a lot of dust. However, dog dander is inside the hair.
They are microscopic pieces of dead skin which are trapped within the hair of the dog. When you look at dog dander under a microscope, they look like small, cylinder-shaped bacteria.
They are not alive, and that’s part of the reason as to why they can be harmful. Yet, although they are small and cool under a microscope, they can cause severe reactions in humans.
Is There A Cure for Dog Allergies?
When discussing dog allergies, they can come and go depending on the factors of your dog’s skin and fur. Therefore, there is no true “cure” for dog allergies; however, there are some medications that you can take to relieve yourself of the symptoms.
The best symptom reliever for dog allergies would be an antihistamine, which significantly reduces the amount of histamine within your body that causes the strong dog allergy symptoms. They can be prescribed by a doctor or bought over the counter at your local pharmacy.
Are Dog Allergies Genetic?
In the case of dog allergies across the board, yes, dog allergies are genetic on two sides.
On one side, dogs that have a lot of dog dander tend to shed more than their counterparts, which is a genetic disposition for them based on their breed; thus, creating a lineage that will have the same predisposition.
On the other side, if you have allergies to dogs, it is almost certain that your offspring could have a sensitivity to dog dander and the allergies that come with it.
Are Dog Allergies Seasonal?
Seasonal allergies do exist, and your dog may be one of the many canines to experience them.
Their sneezing, coughing, and scratching is what releases the dog dander from their body into the air that you breathe. With that said, once they begin their seasonal scratching, there’s a significant chance that you will too.
Thankfully, just as you have medication to subside your symptoms, there are dog medications that exist to ensure that they too have reduced symptoms.
The medications also hinder the amount of dander that is released into the air.
Are Dog Allergies Dangerous?
Based on my research “dangerous” isn’t the word that I would use to describe dog allergies; they have been described as more so “aggressively annoying.”
There is a likely chance that you will not die from experiencing dog allergies due to dog dander, however, be prepared to sneeze, cough, and rub your eyes.
The most dangerous part of dog allergies is potentially going into anaphylactic shock, which is a sudden and powerful onset of allergies. Yet, this is a rare occurrence, and, in most cases, powerful antihistamines can take care of their system.
Can You Get Used to Dog Allergies?
If you are experiencing allergies from your dog, you may be able to expect and anticipate the oncoming of the allergies, but it could be challenging to “get used to” them because of the impact that it has on your body.
Additionally, you should know that if you are having allergies from your dog, then there is a likely chance that you will experience allergies from other sources too such as grass, flowers, plants, and dust particles within the air.
So even if your dog is not around, you’ll still most likely experience the allergies.
Do Dog Allergies Go Away?
Dog allergies do have the capability of going away after certain cautions have been taken to prevent another future attack. The most effective way to ensure that your dog allergies go away is to avoid exposing yourself to any dog.
Other effective ways to eliminate your dog allergy is to clean any furniture or clothing that has their dander or fur on it. This will significantly reduce dog allergies and keep them at a level that is more manageable to fix.
Can Dog Dander Make You Sick?
By “sick” we’re talking about fever and having to run to the emergency room, then no, dog dander isn’t the culprit. However, when we use the word “sick” as in experiencing symptoms, then yes, dog dander is guilty of this.
The dander enters your body and is treated as foreign material that may hurt your body. The symptoms of a runny nose and watery, itchy eyes are the mechanisms that push the dog dander out, to decrease your reaction to the mild illness and save you from it.
Can Dog Dander Cause Eczema?
Although dog dander isn’t the cause of eczema, it can be the reason or trigger that creates a flare up in someone with eczema.
The danger of an eczema flares up is due to proteins found in the dog’s flakes of dead skin cells. The protein is not only in the dander of the dog, but also in their saliva; so even being licked by them could be the reason as to why eczema symptoms are starting to appear.
Take precaution while they are relieving themselves as well, as these proteins are also in the urine of the dog.
Can Dog Dander Make You Cough?
Yes, dog dander can make you cough. The coughing sensation is developed when the dog dander enters your nasal passages and throat and works its way down to your lungs.
Your lungs will realize the foreign material and do what it must to reject it and push it out of the body, hence the coughing.
In more intense cases, the cough could develop further into difficulty breathing, or become the onset for an asthma attack if you are in possession of the condition.
Can Dog Dander Make You Itch?
Dog dander, in fact, can make you itch. What causes the itching is the direct contact between the protein from the dog dander and your skill cells that aren’t accustomed to this unknown substance.
Because it doesn’t belong, the body will do whatever it can to relieve itself of the protein; thus, creating a sensation in that area that signals you to wipe it away, or better yet, scratch it!
Just know that it is the biological chemical in your body, histamine, that causes the itchy sensation, not the dander.
Can Dog Allergies Cause Joint Pain?
According to my research, dog allergies can cause joint pain and here’s why.
The isolated proteins have the capacity to enter your body through your orifices and the pores of your skin. Once it’s inside, the protein can reach the ligaments and tendons, which are found in the joints of your bones.
Therefore, allergens have the power to trigger a mild adverse immune response and cause inflammation in the joint, which leads to pain. This is common in many people that suffer from allergies.
Does Benadryl Help with Dog Allergies?
Benadryl is a dark liquid antihistamine that is commonly used in treating allergy symptoms within humans. The active ingredient, diphenhydramine, is what combines with the dog’s foreign protein within your body and combats it.
Benadryl has been proven to help with dog allergies by subsiding the severity of them. Additionally, you should know that dogs themselves can take Benadryl too if they are experiencing allergies!
It works in the same manner; however, the allergies you may experience are coming from the dog’s dander, which Benadryl cannot cure.
Does Claritin Help with Dog Allergies?
Claritin is an antihistamine that does a great job at blocking the effects of a chemical or protein that triggers dog allergy symptoms. It works like Benadryl, except Claritin is a small pill that can be taken orally by itself or with food and water.
The active ingredient, loratadine, attaches itself to the invading canine protein and diminishes it to reduce your onset dog allergy symptoms. Claritin is non-fatal and can be obtained at your local pharmacy through a prescription and over the counter.
Is Allegra Good for Dog Allergies?
Allegra is another antihistamine that I found that has the capacity to be a winner when fighting off dog allergies. What makes Allegra powerful enough to dismiss foreign invaders from your body is its active ingredient, fexofenadine.
It latches on the allergen and pushes it out of your body via relaxing your body and increasing your blood flow to find the allergen and eliminate it. Allegra is also an over-the-counter drug that can be used by both humans and dogs to subside your dog allergies.
Is Zyrtec Good for Dog Allergies?
Research shows that Zrytec is a great choice for dog allergies. Like the other antihistamines, Zyrtec can pinpoint the isolated dog protein that is wreaking havoc on your body and eliminate it within a few hours.
This medication is typically found at any pharmacy and can be obtained over the counter or via a prescription from your doctor. Although not known to be as impactful for dogs, Zyrtec certainly can help with dog allergies when given to a human.
Do Air Purifiers Help with Dog Allergies?
Allow me to clear up some of the myths associated with air purifiers and dog allergies.
Studies have shown that about half of the people that suffer from dog allergies have found help with an air purifier. The idea is that the purifier will suck up the dander and hair in the air before it enters your system; however, this is a half-truth.
Only high-performance air purifiers have the capacity to inhale a significant amount of microscopic dander to save you from the effects of having it in your body.
Natural Remedies for Dog Allergies
The most impactful natural remedy for dog allergies is to avoid your dog at all costs. Since this isn’t a popular solution, there are others you can try out. Chamomile and herbal tea soaks help to relieve itchy areas on your skin.
Oatmeal baths infuse moisture to your skin if it has been dried out by the allergy. Coconut oil or plain sugar-free yogurt help as well as they can relieve symptoms of rashes, hives, and eczema.
Most importantly sunlight and fresh air can kill the bacteria on the surface of your skin and help you breathe better.
Types of Dog Dander
All dogs have dander, or dead skin flakes that fly off their body and into the air.
It is common for most dogs to be the culprit of the dander that flies around, however, most of the dander from all dander consist of the same thing: hair, microscopic dust particles, and proteins that trigger allergic reactions with the dog and the humans around them.
How Long Does It Take for Dog Dander to Disappear?
It can take one to two months for dog dander to disappear due to certain aspects that affect the home.
For instance, dog dander has an intriguing attraction to dust and will attach itself to it once released from the dog’s body. At that point, it can intertwine or be absorbed into the dust, giving it a safe home until you get rid of the dust, or the protein dies within it.
When the dander is suspended in the air, it can remain there for a few weeks until the air is circulated outside of the house.
Dog Breed with Least Dander
If you want a dog but don’t want to deal with all the shedding of hair, check out these breeds of dogs with the least dander.
There’s the Xoloitzcuintli – a miniature dog-, the Spanish Water Dog, Poodle, Miniature and Standard Schnauzer, Portuguese Water Dog, and the Peruvian Inca Orchid – because it’s hairless -. Continuing, there is the Bedlington Terrier, Bichon Frise, Irish Water Spaniel, and even a Maltese!
Additionally, Afgahn Hound, Lagotto Romagnolo and Wheaten Terrier are all great options as a choice for a dog with a low level of dander.
Can You Get Used to Dog Dander?
It is quite challenging to get used to dog dander considering that your body does not naturally create dog dander.
Since this is the case, your body will typically see dog dander as a foreign – and unwanted – visitor and try to fight it off each time it tries to enter it.
When seasonal changes occur, you may get used to the fact, and even expect for your dog to start itching and scratching.
Is Dog Dander Airborne?
Dog dander can become airborne. Once your dog starts scratching and sneezing, those dried particles from its skin and dried saliva can float in the air, where they can then be inhaled by anyone in the area.
When the dog dander is inhaled by you or another person, the symptoms of itchy throat and dried nasal passages may occur. At this point, you have become the victim of a mild effect of airborne dog dander.
What Causes Excessive Dog Dander?
Excessive dog dander is typically caused by immune-mediated diseases, endocrine disorders, or allergies within the dog.
Skin infections are one of the most common triggers for amplified dog dander. Environmental factors such as trees, flowers, and pollen are also capable of speeding up the process of dog dander.
Are Cat and Dog Allergies the Same?
Both cats and dogs have the ability to release dander into the air and cause allergic reactions to those who are inhaling their mild toxins.
However, my research showed me that more people will be more significantly impacted by cat allergies than they will be by dog allergies.
This is because the protein from the cat is different from the dog’s and tends to be more powerful. But although the protein is different, the allergic reaction is all the same.
How to Remove Dog Dander from Upholstery?
You can remove dog dander from upholstery by cleaning your carpets, furniture, and curtains on a regular basis.
Lint rollers do a great job at picking up dog hair that contains the skin flakes of the dog that causes the allergic reactions.
Also, deep steaming is an option because it is able to seep into the upholstery and kill the dander with high-temperature steam, as well as remove bacteria from the surface of your furniture and counters.
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