It’s not uncommon for children to go through phases of really wanting a dog, however if your child is allergic to most animals, then this could be a real issue. It’s been proven time and time again that people who have allergies to pets can learn to live with them, but is it fair to put your child through this? Are there any ways around their allergies?
Allergies and pets:
It can be tricky to identify and manage allergies, particularly with children, but it they begin to itch, sneeze, or show other allergy symptoms when they are around cats and dogs, then more often than not, they will be allergic to them. It’s important to understand what triggers these allergies, and from there, you can see how avoidable it can be. A common misconception is that people are allergic to dog hair or any other animal hair/ fur, when in fact it is the proteins in the dander that people are allergic to – this is spread by the shed animal fur.
Allergic reactions vary from person to person, so if you are considering to get a dog, it’s important to assess the severity of your child’s allergy. If your child is very sensitive to dogs and reacts badly to them, then the chances are that your child will have to take regular allergy medication if you choose to get a dog.
Find the right breed:
It’s important to understand that when breeders claim to have hypo-allergenic dogs, that this is false. Depending on the breed, some dogs shed less dander, which means that they are less likely to provoke an allergic reaction. The best way to find the perfect breed, is to introduce your child to various different breeds and see how they react to them. This way you will have a clear understanding of your child’s tolerance and the severity of their allergy.
Once you have found the best breed to cohabit with your child, you must then work to reduce your child’s allergies at any opportunity necessary. It may be a good idea to give them allergy medication, and to also create “dog free” rooms in the house, so that your child can have some escape from their allergies. As a general rule, try to avoid letting your pet up on the furniture so they do not spread their dander around and aggravate any allergies. Also brush and groom your dog regularly to prevent any excess shedding getting around your home.
First and foremost, it’s important to put your child’s health before anything else. If they have a severe allergy which does not seem to ease up when you introduce them to different breeds, then it’s important to consider whether it is worth getting a dog at all. If your child is more tolerant and their allergies are containable, then finding the best breed and allowing them to build up a tolerance could be a great option to consider.