Are You Allergic To Your Dog?

Are you allergic to your dog? That's a good question. There is a bit of controversy
surrounding this issue.

Many dog owners simply don't understand - or don't want to believe - that they can
become allergic to their own dog.

After all, dogs have been "man's best friend" since time immemorial and this fact
doesn't seem to be changing anytime soon.

Throughout the centuries, humans have valued dogs for many reasons - the top two probably being security and companionship. So certainly, humans and dogs have maintained a close friendship throughout the ages. However, this close friendship can be disrupted by allergies. Indeed, some people do become allergic to their own dogs.

In addition to providing us with companionship and security, it has also been shown that dogs help humans live longer and healthier lives. This is especially true for the elderly as well as anyone who lives alone.

What's more, dogs seem to prefer our company. This creates a perfect friendship between humans and dogs.

Back to being allergic to our dogs...well, unfortunately, yes it is true some dog owners - or members of their household - do become allergic to their dogs. In fact, some studies have shown that approximately 15% of the human population that lives with a dog at home will - at some point - develop an allergy towards them. Of those who develop such allergies, about 1% remain with their dogs - which means the vast majority of people with dog allergies eventually go their parting ways. Usually, this parting of the ways takes between 1 and 2 years, after which time the allergy becomes unbearable for the dog owner.

Although it may be sad for such human-dog friendships to break up, it's usually for the better. Allergies, if not controlled, often lead to serious, long term health problems - especially in those with weakened immune systems, the very young and the elderly.

For those who only have a mild allergic reaction to their dogs - a breakup is not a forgone conclusion. In such cases, simply keeping the dog outside of the house (e.g., in an outdoor doghouse), or restricting their access to certain key areas of the home (e.g., bedroom, areas with upholstered furniture, etc.) will relieve symptoms, negating the need for you and your dog to say "goodbye!"