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Being an allergic dog owner can be a challenging experience, especially if you have a long-haired dog breed that sheds frequently, but it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the love and companionship of a furry friend.
When it comes to short-haired dog breeds, like Pitbulls, the situation is different. So, are Pitbulls bad for allergies? or are they considered hypoallergenic?
Pitbulls can be bad for your allergies, just like any other dog breed. Most people think that Pitbulls are hypoallergenic dogs because they don’t shed as much as other dogs, but it’s not actually true; all dogs produce allergens that can come from dander, urine, and saliva, not just the shedding.
Keep reading to learn more about what makes a dog hypoallergenic, why Pitbulls are bad for allergies, and how to minimize allergens in your home.
What Makes A Dog Hypoallergenic?
A dog is considered hypoallergenic if it produces fewer allergens that cause an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals.
Dogs produce allergens from their skin cells (dander), urine, and saliva. When these allergens come into contact with a sensitive individual, they can trigger an allergic reaction, with symptoms that include sneezing, itching, and a runny nose.
It’s important to note that no dog is 100% hypoallergenic; while hypoallergenic breeds may produce fewer allergens, they can still trigger an allergic reaction in some individuals.
Can You Build Immunity To Dog Allergies?
Building immunity to dog allergies is not possible for most people. Allergies are an immune system response to substances (allergens) that are typically harmless to most people.
In some cases, people may experience a reduction in symptoms over time after repeated exposure to the allergen, but this does not mean they have built immunity.
Instead, it may be due to temporary desensitization or a decrease in the severity of the immune response. The best way to manage dog allergies is to avoid exposure to allergens or to take medications to relieve symptoms.
What Type Of Dog Should You Get If You Have Allergies?
If you have allergies, it’s best to choose a breed that is considered hypoallergenic, such as Poodles, Bichon Frises, or Maltese.
These breeds produce fewer allergens and are less likely to trigger an allergic reaction. However, it’s important to spend time with the specific breed before adoption to determine if they cause an allergic reaction in your case.
Other factors to consider when choosing a dog if you have allergies include the dog’s size, coat type, and grooming needs. A dog with a non-shedding coat, for example, will produce less dander, which can reduce the risk of an allergic reaction.
Why Are Pitbulls Considered Not Hypoallergenic?
Pitbulls are not considered hypoallergenic because they can produce allergens like dander, urine, and saliva that can cause an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals. Although they have short hair, which typically produces less dander than long-haired breeds, it does not make them hypoallergenic.
Allergens can still stick to their fur and skin, which can spread throughout a home and cause an allergic reaction. Because dog allergens are so light and microscopic, they can linger in the air for extended periods of time, making it easier for your Pit Bull to transfer them to you and thus spread the allergies.
Dander is the most common allergy trigger in Pit Bulls, and it’s because of their movable nature that it’s such a hazard.
Another common allergy trigger is saliva since Pit Bulls are notorious for producing excessive amounts of drool. This drool adheres to surrounding household items, just like hair, and if it is overlooked, it will dry and become airborne.
The best way to determine if a Pit Bull will trigger an allergic reaction is to spend time with the breed and see if symptoms occur.
I have another article in which I talk about whether American Bullies are hypoallergenic you might also find useful.
8 Tips To Minimize The Allergens in Your Home
Minimizing allergens from Pit Bulls in your home is possible with a few simple steps. So, here are some tips to help you reduce the risk of an allergic reaction:
Regularly Groom Your Dog
It’s not the dog’s hair or skin that causes triggers allergies, but it’s dander. Therefore, the best way to avoid an allergic reaction is to minimize contact with dander.
In order to do that, you need to groom your Pit Bull regularly so it doesn’t transfer as much dander onto you and your furniture.
It’s recommended to bathe your Pit Bull once a month using a shampoo that will soothe its skin and prevent it from producing more dander. In addition, brush the dog thoroughly when it’s dry to remove any loose hair from its coat and distribute the natural oils in its skin, reducing dryness and flaking.
Improving The Dog’s Diet
Improving a dog’s diet may not directly reduce allergens, but it can improve their overall health and reduce the amount of dander produced.
A healthy and balanced diet can improve a dog’s skin and coat, reducing the amount of dander that is shed into the environment.
Additionally, feeding your dog a high-quality diet that is appropriate for their age, breed, and activity level can help support their immune system and reduce the amount of skin irritation and itching, which can also reduce dander production.
You can check out my recommendations for the best foods for Pit Bulls here.
Prevent Your Dog From Licking You
Preventing your dog from licking may help reduce the allergens they produce. So, next time your Pit Bull tries to lick you, it’s best to redirect its attention to a chew toy or treat. Also, make sure to use positive reinforcement to train your dog and consistently enforce the rules to discourage licking behavior.
Avoid Sleeping With Your Dog
If you’re susceptible to allergies, resist the temptation to sleep with your Pit Bull. Sleeping with a dog can trigger allergies for some people, as pet dander and saliva can settle on bedding and clothing.
You need to keep your bedroom doors closed and limit your dog’s access to your sleeping area. Setting limits may start with some complaining, but after time, your dog will adjust to the change, and your sinuses will stay clear as a result of the overnight space.
Furthermore, instead of sleeping with your Pit Bull in your bedroom, you need to provide it with a comfortable sleeping area in another room or on the floor. You also need to train your dog to sleep in its designated sleeping area and provide positive reinforcement for doing so.
Focus On Your Hygiene
Washing your hands after petting or grooming your Pit Bull can help reduce the allergens on your skin and clothing and prevent the spread of allergens to other surfaces in your home.
Make sure to wash your hands using warm water and soap, then rinse thoroughly. Also, make sure to dry your hands with a clean towel to avoid re-contaminating your hands with allergens. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to kill allergens and bacteria.
Keep Your House Clean
It’s also critical to apply this thinking to your house, in addition to keeping your dog and yourself clean.
Cleaning your house regularly can help reduce dog allergens by removing dander, hair, and saliva from surfaces. Here are some steps to effectively clean your home and minimize allergens:
- Vacuum regularly: Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to regularly remove dander and hair from carpets, furniture, and upholstery.
- Wash bedding and toys: Wash your dog’s bedding and toys regularly to remove allergens. Use hot water and a pet-safe detergent.
- Clean surfaces: Wipe down surfaces like countertops, tables, and doorknobs regularly with a damp cloth to remove dander and hair.
- Limit access to certain areas: Limit your dog’s access to certain rooms or furniture to reduce the amount of allergens in those areas.
Use Air Purifiers
It’s critical to think about the air quality in your home, given that dander and saliva are frequently airborne allergens.
Using an air purifier with a HEPA filter can help reduce dog allergens in your home. These HEPA filters are designed to trap tiny particles, including pet dander and hair, which can trigger allergies. However, make sure to replace the filter in your air purifier every month to ensure it’s working properly.
By removing these allergens from the air, an air purifier can help reduce the number of allergens in your home and improve the air quality.
Using medication Anti-allergy medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, and corticosteroids, can help relieve symptoms of dog allergies. Additionally, some medications, such as nasal sprays and eye drops, can be used to target specific symptoms, making them a useful option for individuals with mild to moderate allergies.
However, it’s important to note that medication is not a cure for dog allergies; it doesn’t reduce the number of allergens in your home and should be used in conjunction with other measures.
If you have severe allergies, it’s recommended to consult with your doctor to determine the best course of action for managing your symptoms, which may include a combination of medication and other measures.
By following these tips, you can reduce the amount of allergens from your Pitbull in your home and minimize your risk of an allergic reaction. It’s important to remember that every individual is different, so it’s best to spend time with the breed and monitor your symptoms to determine the best course of action.
PitbullsHome Personally-Tested Picks for Pitties:
- The Best foods for Pit Bull Puppies that are nutritious and delicious – Help them grow stronger without declaring bankruptcy 😉
- Training or entertaining? These treats for Pit Bulls are simply the best (with options for dogs with sensitive stomachs)
- According to my vet, these are the best foods for Pit Bulls with Skin Allergies.
- The Best Collars for Pitbulls (comfortable and dependable)
- The Best Pit Bull Leashes (Durable and Worth Every Penny)
- The Best Crates for Pitbulls (Affordable options for even the stronger Pitties)
- Best Muzzles for Pitbulls (Comfortable and Safe Muzzles)
- The Best Shampoos for Pitbulls (including shampoos for sensitive skin)
- The Best Chew Toys for Pit Bulls (That will actually stand their teeth)
- The Best Brushes for Pit Bulls (For amazing coats with the least grooming effort)
- The Most indestructible and comfiest Beds for Pit Bulls (That they will actually like and use)
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