You love your dog, but if you are allergic to him, you certainly do not love the symptoms caused by his presence in your home. While many people who are allergic to dogs assume the animal's hair causes their misery, the real cause is dander, the microscopic particles of dead skin cells that all animals, including dogs and humans, constantly shed. If you want to enjoy your dog's company while suffering fewer allergy symptoms, take steps to minimize the amount of dog dander and other allergy-causing inhalants in your environment. These steps may also help your dog if he is allergic to human dander and other inhalants.
Keep your dog clean, but do not bathe him too often. Most dogs only need to be bathed about every three months. Bathing a dog removes important oils from his coat, and too-frequent bathing can have the adverse effect of causing dry, flaky skin.
Launder your dog's bedding frequently. This will remove dead skin cells that accumulate in the bedding and that can become airborne when the dog moves around. It will also reduce the amount of dog hair in your home.
Vacuum your home frequently, especially in areas frequented by your dog. Use a vacuum cleaner with a filter to trap dander and help prevent it from being blown into the air as you clean. Microscopic dander particles can remain suspended in the air for long periods of time.
Clean any furniture that your dog lies on regularly. Shampooing it with a steamer and upholstery cleaner works well to remove hair and dander.
Use an air filtration system in your home. These systems clean microscopic allergens from the air. They are available in both portable models and whole-house models. An air filtration system with a HEPA filter will work best to remove dander from the environment.
Eliminate as many fabrics as you can from your home. Items such as rugs, curtains, pillows and throws all trap dander, especially when dogs use them as beds. Wash remaining fabric items frequently to reduce dander accumulation.
Dust your entire home frequently. Always use a wet cloth, because dry or feather-type dusters will redistribute dander and other allergens throughout your house instead of picking them up and removing them.
Play with your dog outside as much as possible so excessive dander will not be shed inside your house.
Take your dog to his veterinarian if you notice excessive skin flaking or dandruff. His veterinarian will evaluate him for health problems and recommend medications to reduce skin issues if necessary.