When it comes to allergies, many people believe they’re allergic to dog hair. This can lead to the misconception that long-haired dogs cause more allergies than short-haired dogs.
The truth is that most allergies are caused by dog dander. When you safeguard your home against pet allergies, you should pay more attention to controlling pet dander than getting rid of shed fur.
What Is Dog Dander?
Dander refers to the dry skin flakes that any animal sheds. Human and dog dander will both be part of any household that has a dog. Dander makes up a big portion of the dust in the home. If you’re allergic to dogs, their dander is the main problem. Dander can’t be prevented entirely, but it can be controlled.
Dogs with excessive dander may not be as healthy as they could be. Reducing dander is not only a good way to protect your own health, but also a means of protecting the health of your pet.
Ways to Combat Dog Dander
A dog dander allergy can be combated using the following methods:
Dog Dander Shampoo
Dogs require frequent bathing. It helps to invest in a high-quality pet shampoo with support for healthy skin. When a dog’s skin becomes irritated or dry, they shed more dead skin cells, which leads to higher levels of dander in the home.
It’s important that you not use a human shampoo or conditioner on your dog. These are designed for human skin, not dog skin. For dogs, their makeup is too acidic and also contains additives that irritate the skin.
In addition to the bathing, it helps to brush your dog frequently. This helps remove hair and loose dander from their coat, so it doesn’t slough off and become part of the dust in your home. Every brushing session should be done outside, and you should always wear some kind of face mask if you have a dog allergy. High-quality deshedding products will be a lifesaver.
Between each bath, you should rub your dog’s coat with a wet washcloth. Said washcloth can either be wet with water or with a specialized solution that neutralizes allergens. Allerpet D is a good one for dogs.
Air Purifier for Pet Dander
An air purifier is an ideal investment if you have any kind of allergy issue. Many people are allergic to many of the components that make up the dust in the home. An air purifier cycles the air through a filter and traps dust and dander.
There are some air purifiers designed specifically for people who suffer from asthma and allergies. They’re engineered to capture dust, airborne pollen, and dander. The highest-quality filtration systems available are HEPA filters. A HEPA filter air purifier won’t cure your allergies, but it significantly reduces the amount of environmental triggers in the air.
Another type of filter used for these purifiers is an activated charcoal filter. Activated charcoal filters help remove microscopic particles from the air. The carbon becomes activated when treated with oxygen, which causes millions of small pores to open up between each carbon atom. This surface area becomes perfect for absorbing pollen, dust, dander, and other microscopic contaminants.
Dander Free Dogs
You may have heard of hypoallergenic dogs. These dogs shed less than other breeds, so they’re considered to aggravate allergies less than other breeds. Unfortunately, no dog breed is completely dander free. However, there are some that are better for people with allergies than others.
If your dog is low-shedding and hypoallergenic, it’s important to keep the coat cut short rather than long. Longer fur traps more allergens, exposing your environment to more dander and dried saliva. In addition, longer fur can pick up other common allergens like pollen and mold.
How to Reduce Dog Dander in the House
Keep the Dog Outside
If you’ve discovered a dog allergy, one of the best things you can do is keep your dog outside the house. It can take several months before the home becomes entirely free of dog dander.
Weekly Bath Time
Make sure your dog stays clean by having a weekly bath in warm water. Baths help soothe the skin and reduce the amount of dog saliva and dog dander that ends up in the home.
Invest in a Groomer
If you have a dog that sheds a lot, or your allergies are too bad for you to groom your dog yourself, have a groomer take care of them. Groomers are great at making sure your dog is clean and happy, with a coat that doesn’t wreak havoc on your senses.
Weekly Bedding Washing
Every week, you should wash the dog’s bedding to help remove excess dander from the house. Get into the habit by washing your dog’s bedding when you do your normal laundry each week. Set the bedding in a load by itself, making sure to use the appropriate wash cycle to protect any sensitive fabrics.
Limit Areas of Exposure
Set rules for where your dog is allowed to be. If you’re allergic, your bedroom should be a dog-free zone. The dog should especially stay off your bed while you sleep. Any other areas of the house frequented by allergy sufferers should have limited dog exposure.