Many people have dogs as pets, and in most cases, the dog becomes a part of the family. Thus, it can be very alarming and stressful to learn that your child is allergic to your family's pet. If your young child shows signs of being allergic to the family dog, it does not necessarily mean that you need to re-home your dog — there are things that you can do to help minimize your child's pet allergy symptoms so he or she and the dog can live happily together. Take the following steps if your child is allergic to your family's dog:
Make Your Child's Bedroom a Pet-Free Zone
Pet dander is the most common cause of allergic reactions in people who have a pet allergy, but it is also possible to have a reaction to proteins in a dog's saliva or urine. When your child shows non-serious signs of an allergy to your dog, such as sneezing or itchy, watery eyes, it is in your best interest to ensure that his or her room is a pet-free zone and completely free of pet dander. This helps ensure that your child has an area where he or she can sleep soundly without worrying about any type of allergic reaction. You may also want to consider investing in an air filter to use in your child's room.
Bathe Your Dog Regularly
Contrary to what many people believe, it is pet dander rather than a dog's fur that causes allergic reactions. Pet dander flakes off of a dog's body, much in the same way that humans can have dandruff. An easy way to minimize the amount of pet dander that your dog sheds, which can lead to fewer allergy symptoms in your child, is by bathing your dog regularly. Make sure to use a gentle pet shampoo, and pay careful attention to cleaning your dog's body, not just his or her fur.
Make an Appointment with an Allergist
When a child has a minor allergy to the family dog that does not cause serious symptoms, such as asthma attacks, a prescription allergy medication may help a lot. As soon as you notice that your child exhibits allergy symptoms when around your dog, make an appointment with an allergist. Your child's allergist can do an allergy test to ensure that the allergy symptoms are indeed due to a pet allergy and can then prescribe the right medication to keep the symptoms under control. Contact an allergist at a clinic like Oak Brook Allergists for more information.
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