When your body overreacts adversely to something, such as a particular food, animals, pollen, etc., it indicates that you have an allergy. The allergic reaction can include a runny nose, hives and swollen eyes [source: Family Doctor]. An allergic reaction to animals is caused by the fluids and loose skin, known as dander, which the animals release. Animal dander will adhere to any surface, and can hang around for a very long time, even when the pet isn't around. Dog dander is also released while grooming or combing your dog. When the dander is inhaled, they will trigger an allergic reaction. The best way to prevent allergies to dogs is to avoid any contact with them and to avoid places where dogs are found [source: AAFA]. However if your family owns a dog, you might not want to get rid of their pet because and one family member is allergic to its dander. Before taking the drastic step of getting rid of the family dog, you can try preventing the allergic reaction. Here are some tips for preventing an allergic reaction to dogs.
- Keep your dog out of the house as much as possible.
- Keep your dog out of your bedroom.
- Close the central ventilation ducts in your bedroom, and use individual units for that room [source: AAFA, Pet education].
- Strip your house of any carpeting. Carpeting tends to trap animal dander [source: AAFA].
- Use washable throw rugs, and wash them frequently in hot water. Although bare floors are the best, throw rugs are the next best option [source: AAFA].
- Vacuum the carpeting in your house regularly. Try using a vacuum with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter [source: AAFA].
- Install a HEPA filter on you central heating/air conditioning unit [source: AAFA].
- Keep your dog off the furniture.
- Wash your dog at least once a week.
- Keep your dog out of your car.
- Brush your dog everyday, and then spraying it with allergy-reducing spray.
- Wash your hands after handling anything your dog has touched [source: AAFA, Pet education].