Confession: I’m Really Allergic to Dogs

It’s true, I’m really allergic to dogs. In fact, I’m more allergic to dogs than anything else I’ve been tested for. On a scale from 0-6, where 0 is not allergic at all, I’m a 5 when it comes to dogs. On the blood test, I think anything over like 0.35 means you’re allergic, and I rate about a 66!

I’ve had allergies & allergy induced asthma forever, and I’ve always been pretty allergic to cats & dogs (along with almost everything else environmental – trees, grass, pollen, you name it). Growing up, we had a poodle because it is was better for all of our allergies (it runs in the family). When my sister got a Golden-doodle a few years ago, I was allergic to her dog too, despite the hopes of him being “hypo-allergenic”. Sam’s mom has a bunch of dogs & cats and the first time we spent the night there, Sam thought we were going to have to camp in the backyard – I just couldn’t breathe. Whatever it is in cats & dogs makes my chest tight, leading to not being able to breathe easily.

So if being around dogs means I can’t breathe, why did we adopt Duke? Well that was a no brainer in my mind! We wanted a dog, Duke needed a home, and were a perfect match for each other. I wasn’t going to let my allergies stop us from making Duke a part of my family, but I do need to be able to breathe!

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We have an old blanket (pictured here) that Duke cuddles in & a different one I use on our bed.

How I Have a Dog When I’m Really Allergic:

  • Working with my doctor
    The first thing I did was make an appointment with my allergist. He did the tests to confirm my allergies and we found a good medicine regime that keeps me under control. I have maintenance medication and emergency medication that I always travel with. If I forget a dose of my allergy pills, just one, I break out in hives wherever Duke touches me. So I don’t forget anymore! 
  • Keeping the house clean
    I clean our apartment a lot! The sheets & couch slipcover get washed often. The floors are hardwood and get swept almost daily. Throw rugs and the couch are vacuumed. Especially important is to keep Duke off my pillows, so I’m not rubbing my face in dog hair at night. Easily done by keeping a blanket over them and the bedroom door shut when we’re not home. 
  • Never touching my face
    This is so important and so hard! If I pet Duke and then rub my eyes, my eyes get so itchy. This is so hard to get used to, but now I use the inside of the collar of my shirt or a tissue if I have to rub my eyes.
  • Being aware of my triggers 
    I know it is hard for me to brush Duke, it kicks up so much hair, so Sam usually does that.
  • Spending time with Duke in the beginning to get used to the allergens
    I didn’t avoid cuddling with Duke in the beginning. I wanted my body to get used to him being around. I was cautious in the beginning, washing my hands often, but I was careful to help my body assimilate. I didn’t want to have a dog that I couldn’t cuddle with or pet. So I worked to make sure I got used to him.

Now Duke and I can cuddle as much as we like! I still don’t touch my eyes & take my medicine religiously, but on the whole, I’m fine. He can get up in my face without a problem. I’m even better at Sam’s mom’s house, with more than one dog & cats! He’s really helped my animal allergies. My blood tests aren’t any different, but my symptoms are so much better. Plus, we have this adorable ball of energy and I wouldn’t trade him for anything – even no allergies!

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Cuddling & blogging

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We’re joining This ‘N That Thursday hosted by 2 brown dawgs & Ruckus the Eskie

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32 thoughts on “Confession: I’m Really Allergic to Dogs

  1. Oh, I sympathize. I used to be very allergic as a child, but luckily I have mostly grown out of them. The only thing that bothers me now is saliva – if my dogs lick me or slobber on me (yes, Jack slobbers a lot) if I don’t rinse it right off it gets very itchy. But like you, not going to let a little itching come between me and my dogs.

  2. Allergies are often considered to be a deal breaker for people and pets, but not being allergic myself I didn’t really know of the options out there. I’m glad there are ways to make it work! I couldn’t imagine a pet-free household.

  3. Aw! I’m so glad you got Duke! What a lucky dog. I’m glad you work hard to bypass the allergies so you have the best pet in the world. 🙂

  4. I am slightly allergic to dogs – but once I get used to them, the symptoms disappear. At first, I would get hives wherever B touched me or licked me. I’m about a 6 when it comes to cats (I don’t have any at this time) – so I can relate to the adjustments you’ve had to go through in order to be more comfortable around Duke. Thank you for sticking with your regime so he could stay with you! A lot of people won’t make that effort. 🙂

  5. Love the photos! and the message. I often have clients tell me that they can’t have____ (insert anything and everything here) because of ____ (same). I always remind them that the best way to cure any allergy is to not withdraw from it..studies prove that the healthiest kids are those that get dirty and get exposed to life…and a pet is such a comforting improving friend.

    • It is so true! I was just reading something the other day about how having pets makes children healthier for this very reason. Duke really is great, and so comforting as you said. He has done wonders for my allergies and of course many other parts of my life. Glad to hear you’re out there spreading this message to your clients!

  6. Thanks for participating in TNT. I have a friend whose son is very allergic to dogs. They still had a dog and in addition to all the things you listed, they also bathed the dog regularly. Do you think that would help? Very cute pictures.

    • Of course, I enjoy TNT! I do think that helps! We bathed Duke too often in the beginning, the vet told us to step it down a bit because he was getting so dry. The vet recommended once a month to us, but I think we bathe him every 2-3 weeks now.

    • Thank you so much, comments like that put such a smile on my face! I can’t imagine getting rid of Duke just because I’m uncomfortable sometimes, he’s a part of the family and I’m more than willing to make some sacrifices to keep us together! 🙂

  7. Hi Y’all!

    Oh what a wonderful story. My Humans have allergies and they have me! Hooray for you!

    Y’all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  8. Wow, I’m seriously impressed. I don’t think I would have a dog if I have such serious allergies that you have!! Like seriously. It takes a lot of work and commitment to keep the dog busy and cleaning and cleaning at the same time. Not to mention the medication – – Live a good life.

  9. Pingback: Pets that Blog: Meet Duke | Peace, Love & Whiskers

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