Pets = Allergies

Do you find that you, or members of your family always seem to have the sniffles, always seem to be fighting a cold?  Do you think you might have allergies?  Is it a problem seasonally or does it happen all the time?  Do you have pets?

I am a former member of the Canadian Military and as such my family and I have lived all across this country and in parts of Europe. Because my wife has a number of seasonal allergies and because of our moving around, it took us years to figure out that not only was she allergic to outside sources, trees, mold, flowers etc. but also to our dogs.   We have always had dogs in the house and it wasn’t until our children came along that we started to notice, they had the sniffles constantly, just like mom.  Although I am not allergic, it turns out that not only is my wife allergic, but so are both of our children.  Being dog people and not wanting to be without a dog around the house we found non-shedding, hypoallergenic dogs.

My wife studied the various breeds and found two that we could have around the house.  The breeds she settled on were Havanese (they have hair not fur) and Bichon frise (they don’t shed).  Since then we have had one or both of those breeds in our house and both her and the kids have not had problems with their allergies.  I say that because while they still suffer from allergy symptoms, they take allergy medication, and we all tend to blame something other than the dogs for any problems.

 

Havanese

Havanese

 

However studies suggest hypoallergenic cats and dogs can cause just as many symptoms as the regular kind, says James Seltzer, MD, a spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. That’s because skin and saliva proteins, not just hair, trigger allergy symptoms.  Allergens (particularly saliva proteins) can latch on to the hair, so less shedding in general, rather than the length of the hair, should be considered.  The same is true for cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, etc.

To help combat some of the allergen’s, ensure you vacuum on a regular basis, the more hair and dander you remove the better your family will feel.  Put filters in your heating vents as well as replacing your furnace filter regularly.  Have your carpets and upholstery professionally cleaned annually, or even semi-annually if required.  Purchase a spot machine from one of the big box stores and keep it handy for any of those pet accidents that will happen.  Make sure you find an all-natural cleaner to use in the machine.  There are lots of places around town where you can buy them.

LUCY

To help with allergies there are several breeds that are better than others.  For allergy sufferers, it pays to take some time to research and look at every option before getting a pet.  We believe in going to your local rescue society to look for a dog or for information, they are all more than willing to help you find the right animal for you and your family.  Remember there is nothing worse than getting a pet, bringing them home and then having to give them away.  Do your research first, then go and find the right pet for you.

The internet has a great deal of information, the SPCA is a great source of information and there are numerous qualified, upstanding breeders out there who are more than willing to help in your decision.   Even though they have accidents, chew your stuff, bark and do any number of annoying things, dogs and cats should be a part of every family.

Here are links to some helpful information.

http://www.edmontonhumanesociety.com

http://www.acaai.org/allergist/pages/default.aspx

http://www.sheknows.com/pets-and-animals/articles/815208/top-10-best-hypoallergenic-dog-breeds-1/page:3

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20307349,00.html

 

 

Thanks for listening.

owners

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