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Can You Build Up an Immunity to Dog Allergies?

Portuguese water dog

Can you build up an immunity to dog allergies?
Allergies in dogs are a common concern for many pet owners. The constant sneezing, itching, and watery eyes can make it difficult to enjoy the companionship of a man’s best friend. 

Lucky for us, some, recent studies suggest that it may be possible to build up an immunity to dog allergies. But what about our canine friends? Did you know that dogs are also allergic to various things? And often, most allergies will appear after six months or over 1 or 2 years.

So, how do you ensure your dog is ready for that time? Well, with an immune booster for dogs formulated with organic mushroom blends and herbal extracts, you can naturally boost your dog’s immune system.  With immune boosters for dogs, you may reduce allergic reactions and help your pup develop a tolerance to the allergens over time.

afghan hounds

Can You Build Up an Immunity to Dog Allergies?

Yes, it’s possible to develop immunity to dog allergies through a process known as immunotherapy. It involves gradually exposing the immune system to the allergens found in dogs, which helps train them to become less responsive over time. By consistently undergoing immunotherapy, you can experience a significant decrease in allergic reactions or even see them disappear entirely.

However, this process takes around three years for the immune system to build enough tolerance. 

Understanding Dog Allergies

Dog allergies are allergic reactions that respond to proteins in a dog’s skin cells, urine, or saliva. These allergies can have common hay fever symptoms, including sneezing and a runny nose. 

In some cases, people with dog allergies may also experience asthma-like symptoms such as difficulty breathing and wheezing. The proteins in dog allergens trigger the immune system to release histamines, resulting in allergic reactions. 

If you are allergic to dogs, minimising your exposure to dogs and seeking appropriate medical treatment to manage their symptoms effectively is crucial.

Signs and Symptoms Associated With Dog Allergies

While some people may have mild symptoms, others may experience more severe reactions. It is important to be aware of the symptoms of dog allergies to seek appropriate treatment and relief. They include;

  • Swollen, blue-coloured skin below your eyes
  • Red, itchy, watery eyes
  • Itchy nose or throat
  • Raised, red patches of skin (hives)
  • Eczema
  • Itchy skin
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Postnasal drip
  • Wheezing or whistling sound when breathing out
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Frequent awakening
  • Facial pressure and pain
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Problems sleeping due to coughing or shortness of breath
  • In a child, frequent upward rubbing of the nose

When Should You Seek Medical Care?

Symptoms of a pet allergy, like sneezing or runny nose, can be challenging to determine whether it is an allergy or a common cold.  However, if these symptoms go on for over two weeks, you likely have an allergy.  If you feel complete blockage in the nasal passages or are experiencing difficulty sleeping or wheezing, contact your doctor.  Additionally, if the shortness of breath or wheezing worsens or you are short of breath even with minimal activity, seek medical care promptly.

How Do You Treat Pet Allergies?

When it comes to treating pet allergies, antihistamines are the go-to medication. These medications work by blocking the effects of allergens on the immune system, providing relief from symptoms. Over-the-counter antihistamines are widely available and can be effective for mild cases. However, if your symptoms are more severe, it is recommended to consult with a doctor who may prescribe a stronger antihistamine. 

In addition to antihistamines, nasal sprays, and decongestants can help alleviate symptoms. Unfortunately, there are currently no good treatment options for individuals with breathing problems caused by pet allergies.

Common Misconceptions About Dog Allergies

1. Myth – Pets have allergies similar to humans

Fact – Allergic pets typically don’t exhibit sneezing or watery eyes. Instead, they often suffer from intensely itchy skin, skin lesions, hair loss and engage in persistent scratching, licking, chewing, and rubbing. 

2. Myth – Pet allergies can be managed using steroids

Fact – Steroids may be used to control acute allergic reactions but can have significant side effects if used long-term. Other treatments include bathing, anti-itch medications, omega-3 fatty acids, and hyposensitization therapy.

3. Myth – Pets frequently experience food allergies

Fact – Approximately 0.1% of cats and 0.2% of dogs have allergies to ingredients in their food. The primary allergy seen in pets is flea bite hypersensitivity, which occurs when the pet is allergic to the saliva of fleas.

4. Myth – Fleas must be found to diagnose a flea allergy

Fact – Allergic pets often remove all fleas from their coat due to excessive grooming. Inspecting your pet and their bedding for flea dirt is crucial to diagnose a flea allergy.

5. Myth – You can manage pet food allergies by transitioning them to a grain-free diet

Fact – Pets with food allergies often react to a protein source like beef, dairy, chicken, or eggs. Switching to a grain-free diet won’t necessarily prevent allergic reactions if the allergy stems from a protein source.

Allergy-friendly Dog Breeds

Roughly 10% to 20% of the world’s population suffers from allergies to cats and dogs. Hypoallergenic dogs are less likely to cause allergies in sensitive individuals, but no truly non-allergic dog exists.

Hypoallergenic dogs produce fewer allergenic proteins and shed less dander, making them suitable for allergy sufferers. Hypo-allergic dog breeds include;

1. Irish Water Spaniel

2. Bolognese

giant schnauzer

3. Chinese Crested

4. Afghan Hound

5. Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier

6. American Hairless Terrier

7. Lagotto Romagnolo

8. Barbado da Terceira

9. Maltese

10. Peruvian Inca Orchid

11. Miniature Schnauzer

12. Giant Schnauzer

13. Affenpinscher

14. Löwchen

15. Portuguese Water Dog

16. Kerry Blue Terrier

17. Coton de Tulear

18. Barbet

19. Bedlington Terrier

20. Bichon Frise


Can you develop an immunity to dog allergies? Yes, it is possible to develop immunity to dog allergies through immunotherapy. 

It involves gradual exposure to allergens found in dogs. This process trains the immune system to gradually become desensitized over time, leading to a decrease or even disappearance of allergic reactions. However, it is essential to note that immunotherapy takes around three years to build up enough tolerance. 

If you are allergic to dogs, try allergy-friendly dog breeds. They are known as hypoallergenic dogs, produce fewer allergenic proteins, and shed less dander, making them suitable for individuals with allergies.


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