Q&A: What to do when you find out you’re allergic to your dog

allergic to your dog

Q&A: What to do when you find out you’re allergic to your dog

Plenty of people in the UK love their pets. It could be a cat that lazes around the house all day, a bird that sings to them, or a lizard bathing itself under a heat lamp. By far the most popular pet is man’s best friend – the dog. It’s estimated there are about 9 million dogs in the UK and with the lockdown, there’ll be plenty more.

But what happens when you realise you’re actually allergic to your new furry friend? We’re here to answer your questions about what to do if you’re allergic to your dog.

Can I keep my dog?

The first question on many people’s minds will be whether they can keep their loyal companion. The answer is, usually, yes – if you’re prepared to live with the consequences. The advice from doctors would probably be to bite the bullet and find a new home for them. It won’t be easy, but it will help you live easier.

I don’t want to give them away. What else can I do?

If you really don’t want to part ways (and we can easily understand why), there are precautions you can take to minimise allergic reactions. Keep windows open to stop a build-up of pet dander, the culprit that usually causes your reactions. Stay on top of your cleaning schedule, vacuuming daily around areas your dog spends time. Don’t let them on furniture such as beds and sofas.

Also, talk to your doctor. They may have more advice or be able to prescribe medication to ease your symptoms.

Could something else be causing my allergy?

There is a chance it might not be your dog. If they spend a lot of time outside, they might be bringing pollen in on their hair, aggravating your hay fever. They may even have some hitchhikers, and your allergy is to the mites instead. Regularly washing your dog and watching where they go can help with this.

What if I don’t have a dog yet? Can I still get one?

If you know you’re allergic to dogs and still want one, definitely give it some consideration. Ask yourself if potentially having symptoms every day is worth it. If you still want a dog, there are some that might be better for you. Those that shed less, thus leaving less pet dander, might help. Though keep in mind that no dog breed is truly ‘hypoallergenic’ – i.e. completely allergy-free.

How can I be sure I have a dog allergy?

The only way to be 100% sure is to have a doctor or allergy specialist test you for allergies. Through one of many methods, they can help uncover what allergies are holding you back. When you want medical advice, this should be your first port of call.

We know the choice between your health or your pet can be a tough one. But you should put yourself first and find a solution that works for both of you.

At Allergy Clinic London, we can test you for a range of allergies, helping you live a healthier life. To find out more, get in touch with us on 02031 433 449.

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