I would guess that you have stumbled across this page because you have a family dog that your child is allergic to. Moreover, you probably weren’t aware of that when you adopted the dog. Now, you’re struggling with the idea of whether or not you can keep the dog.
I’m not a Allergist or a doctor. I am simply a parent that has been in your exact shoes and I had a difficult decision to make.
The Day It All Started
Emily and I had been begging my husband for a cute, squishy bulldog. He surprised us with Buster. We were overjoyed with our rambunctious puppy.
Then, it started. Emily started in with the watery eyes, sneezing, coughing and then…the hives. Insert panic. After removing Buster from her general area and addressing her symptoms, my husband and I began talking about how he just might not be the best fit for our family. Emily adored him, but just could not tolerate him. After many discussions and her general stubbornness about how we couldn’t get rid of the dog, we sought to find out how to make this work.
Commence project allergist hunt. Over the course of the next few months, we searched and searched for an allergist that would even talk to us about this. All of them kept telling us that we just had to get rid of the dog, they wouldn’t try anything. This was even before they knew the degree of her allergy to him. As soon as I said the words, “we’re here because Emily is allergic to our dog, but we don’t want to get rid of him.” Their immediate response was, “Sorry, but you probably need to.”
It wasn’t until I took her to the prestigious CHOC children’s allergy department that we found a doctor that said something to me that I will not forget. “Does this dog make your child’s life better?” “Would removing the dog benefit your child, other than to decrease the allergens she’s exposed to?” Emily answered for me and said, “I love Buster, he’s my fluffy baby. We can’t get rid of him.” From then, the doctor decided that we should not get rid of the dog, and we were going to find ways to make living with him easier.
So without further adieu, here are the following ways we’ve made life manageable with a dog that Emily is allergic to.
We’re following our Allergists prescription orders
Much of what her allergist prescribed were over-the-counter topical and drinkable medications. He did prescribe a few inhalers for her to treat both her allergies to Buster, but also seasonal allergies. They work great!
We’ve taken out the carpet in our house
This has been the most costly of our changes. Luckily, it worked out that we didn’t like the horrible carpet in our house anyways. If you cannot afford to replace the carpet in your house, you’ll need to vacuum often. We opted for waterproof vinyl flooring. I know that might sound cheap but we are always complimented on our flooring. The finish is similar to the product below, which you can purchase through Amazon.
Even without carpet, we still vacuum a lot.
The easiest way to keep up with vacuuming for allergies is to get an automatic vacuum. We didn’t invest in a Roomba, although I have heard great things. Instead, we got a lesser expensive model. Because, well you know…momma’s broke! We got the ILIFE and we’ve had it for years with no problems. We’ve named the vacuum Tom and Tom is phenomenal.
We have HEPA air purifiers in the common areas and in her room.
These can be pricey but they last a long time and many of the filters can be washed and re-used.
We bath our dog in Anti-Allergen Shampoo
There are only a few good dog shampoo’s on the market for this but we’ve used this one extensively and it works! It works to actually neutralize the dander in dogs fur so it doesn’t trigger allergies. If you don’t believe me, check the reviews!
This works similar to the shampoo only you don’t need to bath them. You can simply spray or put some in the mitt it comes with and it works very well.
We also use allergen spray on any fabric furniture or bedding
We’ve had the same bottle of this stuff for like 6 months, we don’t do it every day but while your cleaning, just give it a spritz and you’re good to go.
Lastly, we do not let Buster sleep or get on Emily’s bed. There has to be a place where your child’s body can recover.
We’ve been applying these tactics for Emily for 2 years and it works! Through simple housekeeping we’ve been able to reduce the amount of medication she needs to take. Most importantly, my daughter can now play, cuddle, rub, lay-on and enjoy her pup the way we always wanted her to be able to.