Dog and Cat Allergies

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It has recently been discovered that babies exposed to the allergens of cat and dog fur throughout their mother’s pregnancy and during their first year of life are less likely to develop allergies to these animals as adults. These are the formative years of a baby’s immune system. Exposure to cats and dogs can prevent allergies from developing by training the immune system to ignore them.

Juggling pet ownership and raising a baby can be difficult at times. Although contact with the animals is not a problem, be sure to keep your baby away from places like litter boxes which could contain dangerous bacteria that will make them sick.

People may be allergic to the skin particles of a dog (dander). When these particles are thrown into the air and a person breathes them in, an allergic reaction occurs. You may also be allergic to dog saliva or urine. When any of these allergens contact your skin a reaction on the area of contact may develop. As with other allergies the symptoms may include coughing, sneezing, red itchy eyes, as well as an itchy, runny, or stuffed nose. A rash or skin irritation can also form.

Best Breeds for People with Dog Allergies

Because the allergic reaction is triggered by the shedding of skin cells, short hair breeds of dogs may not necessarily be the most hypoallergenic. However, there are certain dog breeds which are less likely to trigger a reaction:

  • American hairless terrier
  • Giant schnauzer
  • Irish water spaniel
  • Portuguese water dog
  • Miniature poodle
  • Maltese
  • Yorkshire terrier
  • Shih tzu
  • Chinese crested hairless
  • Bichon fries
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