Six tips on buying or adopting a dog when you have allergies
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Six tips on buying or adopting a dog when you have allergies

Dogs
Health & Safety

If you have a tendency to suffer from allergies or have flare-ups to various different things, it can naturally be more challenging to find a dog that does not cause you problems if you have your heart set on owning one. A significant number of people are allergic to dogs to some extent, and anyone who has had a reaction around dogs will tell you that some dogs seem to cause worse problems than others, and some dogs generate little to no reaction in those affected.

This does provide some hope for people who are worried about allergies but also aspire to own a dog, and it is often entirely possible for someone with allergies to many dogs to find the right pick that they will be able to live with comfortably. In this article, we will share six tips and insights into how to buy or adopt a suitable dog if you suffer from allergies to dogs. Read on to learn more.

Look for a low-shedding breed

It is important to remember-as most people with dog allergies generally know-that it is not dog hair per se that triggers allergies, but protein compounds that are present in the dog’s saliva and skin. However, dog hair can and does spread these proteins around and so, can worsen allergies, which means that buying a dog that does not shed heavily is often the best choice for allergy sufferers.

This means that you may have to narrow down the range of breeds and types that you consider to those with a certain type of coat-like the poodle-and be prepared to have them bathed and groomed regularly to further reduce allergens.

Avoid large and giant breeds

It makes sense that the smaller the body area of the dog, the less allergenic compounds they are likely to produce, so while it is not a firm rule, it may be worth narrowing down your search to small and medium dog breeds with allergies in mind, rather than considering a large or giant breed with a lot of hair and dander!

Consider how your home set up can help or hinder

Aside from the impact that your dog itself has on you, you can also go some lengths to reducing or limiting the effect that dog dander has on you by setting up your home to reduce allergens even further.

This means things like reducing soft furnishings that can attract hair and dander-say, having leather sofas instead of fabric ones, blinds instead of curtains, and hard flooring instead of carpets.

Keeping your home clean and using a vacuum with a Hepa filter, as well as potentially using an air purifier can help too. It is never a good idea to allow your dog to sleep on your bed if you have allergies and you may want to keep your dog out of the bedroom-or the upstairs of the house entirely-in order to help even more.

Buy locally

One way that people that suffer from pollen allergies sometimes try to reduce the impact of them is to consume live honey produced locally from bees that process the same types of pollens that may affect you-this can actually help to build up tolerance to those types of local allergens that are apt to cause you problems. Eating honey from a different geographical area is rarely effective, because that constitutes a different type of exposure.

Following this logic-exposure therapy, as it were-it is also a good idea to buy a dog that already comes from your local area, as there is potentially a slightly lower chance of the dog causing you problems than one that comes from far away.

Get lots of exposure and don’t rush into a decision

For dog lovers who suffer from allergies, it can be really exciting to meet a new dog and find out that they don’t seem to be triggering your allergies, and if this doesn’t happen very often it can be really tempting to buy the first dog available that does not cause you a problem.

However, it would be terrible for all concerned if you rush into a purchase and then find out that the dog is actually affecting you and you cannot keep it, so make sure you meet and spend time with any dog you are considering at least three times, and still feel confident once you have done this.

Remember your other criteria

Finally, as mentioned it can be very hard not to say “yes” to any dog that doesn’t seem to affect you, but while this is potentially your most important consideration, it should not be your only one. Different dog sizes, breeds and types all have different traits, requirements, temperaments, health issues and more, so never lose sight of these things and ensure that the dog you are considering ticks all of your boxes-not just the allergy one.

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