Got Allergies? You Can Still Get A Dog Without Feeling Miserable All The Time

how to manage pet allergies

Unsplash/Adam Griffith

There is no crueler punishment than being born a dog lover with severe allergies. From dusty dander to all of that soft, fluffy hair they eventually shed onto your floor, pups can make their human best friends feel sick 24/7. But unless your allergies are so bad that one lick from Fido sends you fleeing to the emergency room, you do have options. Here’s how you can still get a dog of your own and avoid feeling totally and completely miserable with your allergy symptoms all the time.

Find a hypoallergenic breed.

how to manage pet allergies

Unsplash/Alvan Nee

The first line of defense against excess shedding and allergen accumulation is finding a pup with genetics that naturally minimize both of these things. Opt for a breed with “hair” as opposed to “fur” to alleviate your sneezing and sniffling pretty much immediately. While there is no such thing as a 100 percent hypoallergic dog, you can greatly increase your quality of life by picking a puppy with a non-shedding coat like a poodle, Portuguese Water Dog or a Schnauzer.

Invest in a good dog grooming service.

If you go the “hypoallergenic” route with your dog, you’ll need more than weekly baths to keep him looking his best. Dogs with hair (instead of fur) need semi-regular haircuts. And while relying on a dog groomer is an added expense for you, both financially and time-wise, it’s one more layer of insurance that your furry best friend will be as close to allergen-free as possible at all times. So find the shop that treats your pup best (and maybe even offers loyal client discounts), and keep that relationship going.

Keep your space nice and tidy.

how to manage pet allergies

Unsplash/Roberto Nickson

If you want to get your own dog, you have to commit to keeping your space seriously clean at all times. That means dusting at least once a week, sweeping or vacuuming every other day and avoiding clutter that can become home to floating tufts of hair and who knows what that puppy tracks in on his paws from the great outdoors. If you’re the type of person that derives joy and peace from a super-tidy home, you’re in for a treat. If not, well, you want that dog, don’t you?

Purchase an air purifier.

This little machine is another amazing way to keep unwanted allergens out of the air you breathe. We recommend setting it up in your bedroom since that’s the place your air quality will matter the most, you know, while you sleep and all. If you clean the filter every few weeks, it’ll make a world of difference when it comes to airborne dust, dander and more. Bonus: It makes for a nice white noise machine at night that can help you drift off to sleep faster.

Keep your pup out of your bed.

how to manage pet allergies

Unsplash/Anna Sullivan

Speaking of the bedroom, if you suffer from serious pet allergies, this has to be a no-go zone for your doggy friend. We know, it sounds like an unnecessary form of torture to find the furry love of your life and then not be allowed to snuggle with him in the morning when you wake up. But if you want to feel at your best health-wise, you’re better off getting your dog a fluffy bed of his own and setting it up in the living room. And if you establish this routine from the puppy days, he won’t come to think of it as a strange punishment. It’ll feel entirely normal.

Ask an allergy specialist for an OTC recommendation.

Even after taking all of these precautionary steps, it’s a good idea to visit a doctor who specializes in allergy management to see what your medical options are. Most people don’t want to go in regularly for expensive allergy shots, but these professionals can help you identify an over-the-counter option that will best suit your needs as well. There are pills that address both indoor and outdoor allergies, inhalants that assist your sinuses in a matter of seconds and more. So take the time to find the option that best remedies your symptoms without leaving you feeling like a walking zombie.

Want more dogs in your life? Sign up for Friday Fluff, a newsletter featuring the week’s cutest pups! 


6 Wonderful Ways Your Pet Boosts Your Health

Here’s The Perfect Dog Breed For Your Personality

Science Says Your Dog Helps You Live A Longer, Healthier Life