Maybe Dogs Are Allergic to You, Have You Ever Thought About It?
Anyone who lives with allergies knows how frustrating they can be, throwing you off your feet with a range of symptoms that hit you from head to toe. Dogs feel our pain too, and they can be allergic to a number of the same things we are.
But if people can be allergic to dogs (more specifically, their fur), can they be allergic to us? Here’s what you need to know.
Can dogs be allergic to humans?
Dogs, like humans, can be allergic to certain foods, skin irritants, and medications, as well as environmental allergens such as pollen, dust, mold, and animal dander, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). And yes, that includes human dandruff.
Is it new?
Even if you’ve had dogs all your life, this may be the first time you’ve heard that they can be allergic to people. And Dr. Valerie Fadoc , an AKC veterinarian who specializes in dermatology, says there are good reasons for this.
First, she says, testing dogs for human dander allergy has only recently become a routine part of testing in veterinary offices. The second reason has to do with fleas. Like, like, something like.
Until the early 1990s , when effective modern flea prophylaxis became widely available, dogs were much less likely to sleep in bed with their humans, Fadok explains.
Now that there is great flea protection, dogs spend more time snuggling up to their humans (especially in bed) and being exposed to their dander, which in turn makes their human dander allergy noticeable. t earlier, notes Fadok.
Signs that your dog is allergic to people
The symptoms of an environmental allergy in dogs are basically the same for any allergen, so if you have any of the ones listed below, you need to take them to the veterinarian for a test to determine the cause.
According to the AKC, signs that your dog may be allergic to human dander (or any other environmental allergens) include:
- Scratches and licks himself, especially around the groin, anus, eyes, muzzle, ears, paws and armpits.
- Moist, crusty, or bare skin
- Runny nose and/or sneezing
- watery eyes
What to do if your dog is allergic to people
If your veterinarian has determined that your dog is actually allergic to human dander, they will also tell you about the best ways to treat the allergy. Depending on the type and severity of your dog’s allergic reaction, a veterinarian may recommend long-term solutions, such as allergy shots, or short-term treatments, such as an antihistamine or cortisone cream, to soothe their skin.
There are also things you can do at home to reduce your dog’s exposure to your dander (and other allergens), including:
- Vacuum your home as often as possible
- Switching to washable rugs and washing them regularly.
- Using an air purifier with a HEPA filter in your bedroom
- If your dog sleeps in your bed is a non-negotiable change and launder your bedding frequently.
Let your veterinarian know after a few weeks about your dog’s symptoms. If they remain the same or worsen, your veterinarian will help you determine the next steps.