14 January 2019

Understanding Dogs and Allergies

If you have pet allergies, or if you know someone who does, you're probably aware of all the advice available to allergy sufferers. You may have even tried some of the allergy treatments out there. There's no doubt that pet allergies are a pain, but new research may just change the way we see pet allergies.

Could dogs prevent allergies?

Researchers from the University of California and the University of Michigan discovered something pretty interesting. They exposed mice to dust from homes with dogs and discovered that the mice developed a certain type of bacteria in their gut as a result of the exposure. The bacteria appears to protect the mice from exposure to common allergens and some other bacteria. Why is this important? Well, it could explain why babies and children raised in homes with dogs often experience fewer allergies and asthma occurrences.

By studying these gut bacteria, scientists hope to find a way to help allergy sufferers by preventing the allergies from developing in the first place. What if you already have pet allergies? The research probably won't help much yet, but there are some things you can do to mitigate your suffering.

  • Opt for hypo-allergenic breeds, like poodles and Maltese dogs. They produce little to no allergy-triggering dander.
  • Vacuum, dust, and clean your home meticulously. This reduces your contact with allergens and limits the allergic reaction.
  • Don't forget to clean your air ducts. Pet dander can get trapped in the air ducts and recirculated, triggering allergy attacks.
  • Hardwoods floors and tile are better than carpet if you have any allergies because they trap less dust and dander.
  • Groom and bathe your dog regularly. This limits the dander buildup and reduces the likelihood that you'll come into contact with it.
  • Keep over-the-counter antihistamines and allergy tablets on hand. They can reduce the irritation if you do come into contact with your pet's dander.

Allergies are a pain, but maybe some day your dog may be your saviour when it comes to allergies. In the meantime, Bark Busters can help with your pet care and training needs.

To speak with a trainer, call 1-866-418-4584 or type in your postal code on the main page to find the trainer nearest you.

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