Signs you may be allergic to dogs

If you’re a dog person, you know how even the thought of a cute pup can ignite fantasies of snuggling on the couch, playing fetch in the yard, and going for daily walks with a built-in BFF. While some people may daydream about meeting their favourite TV star or pop singer, all you’ve ever wanted was to own a Benji, Lassie, or Boomer. But what if the thing that you love most causes you to sneeze, have a postnasal drip, cough or have itchy, watery eyes? If that’s the case for you, it may be time to rethink plans to adopt a dog of your own.

It’s pretty common to be allergic to pets; the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says between 15 to 30 percent of Americans suffer from a pet allergy of some kind. And while some of us think cat allergies are more predominant, Healthline says dog allergies are twice as common — and more severe.

Symptoms of a dog allergy

Dog allergies happen when you develop a reaction to the proteins that make up a dog’s skin (also known as dander), saliva, or urine (via Mayo Clinic). As the dogs shed, those proteins make their way into your furniture, carpeting or on the walls, and because dander is airborne, it can make its way into your eyes or lungs. Mayo Clinic also says different types of dogs produce different kinds of protein, so if you suspect you have, or have been diagnosed with, a dog allergy, you’ll also find that some dog breeds will set you off more than others. The symptoms of a dog allergy are unlike that of the common cold and include a runny nose, sneezing, cough, facial pressure and pain, even difficulty breathing, chest tightness, wheezing when you breathe, and trouble sleeping. You might even have a skin rash or eczema.

But if you didn’t realize you had an allergy until you adopted your pet, you might consider keeping your dog out of your bedroom, cleaning your furniture, carpets and rugs regularly, using a HEPA filter, and keeping your antihistamines close at hand in case things get bad (via Self).

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