42 answers

Do I Need to Give up My Dog Due to Kids Allergies?

I had both my sons tested for allergies and both tested positive for dogs.
We have a very sweet dog the whole family loves (plus we live in the middle of nowhere and I feel saver having her).
My one year tested moderately allergic but my 5 year old was off the chart higher than the higest level. He has been on benadryl and is now on claritin and as long as he takes his meds on time he doesn't have symptoms. If I forget, he immediately reacts though. My Dr. strongly advices to "get rid of the dog".
Is it selfish of me to want to keep the dog and treat the symptoms?

What can I do next?

More Answers

In a short answer yes. I can understand your feelings for not wanting to get rid of the dog, but you are putting your dog over your son's health. Listen to your doctor and find a loving home for your dog.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi S.,

Gosh, that's a real hard question, isn't it?

But, you already know the answer, don't you?

The welfare of your kids always comes first.

It's just not a healthy situation for them to be living on drugs that they could easily avoid.

So, find someone whom you trust or could trust and give the dog to that person, and get them to agree to your coming to visit the dog on some sort of a regular or irregular basis.

Now, logically, the dog's life span is not nearly as long as your kid's will be. Second, dogs, for all their wonderfulnesses (yes, that's a plural), unlike humans, can transfer their familial allegiances rather easily, and within a couple of weeks, their new home is as good as their last home.

I know from personal experience, both ways, but most recently when friends had me watch their dog for few weeks in my home, when they came back, (and they lived next door to me) their dog was truly confused and after greeting them wanted to come back into my house with me!!!

So, do the right thing. Don't feel guilty.

R. Katz, Psy.D.

2 moms found this helpful

No question about it- Who is more important to you, the dogs or the kids? With all the newly discovered side effects and such released in the media today, do you really want to take a chance that these meds will become one of those and find out you may have been damaging your child? At the very least put the dogs outside. I don't mean to sound critical but this does seem like an easy choice to make. I would get rid of every animal in a heartbeat if it affected my kids. Shannon G.

2 moms found this helpful

You asked the question, Yes I believe it is selfish to keep the dog. We are a society that would rather treat symptoms than fix the problem. That is not ok. Can your dog live outside? If not, find a good home for the dog and find one that can live outdoors. That way you can still feel protected and not harm your child every day. I would never put my son in this situation. I have 2 dogs, and I love them dearly, but if it's a choice between my child's health or the dogs, my son comes first!! Don't surrender the dog, find a home by placing an ad in the paper and interviewing the people yourself. That way you can be sure the dog goes to a loving home. Please don't put your dog before your son, that's wrong. Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful

I'm sure you're a wonderful mother and I too grew up with dogs and know how great they can be, but...

How would you feel if your children developed asthma as a result of continuous exposure to a known allergen?

Do you really want to keep your child medicated unnecessarily?

If your kids grow up and decide that they want to get a dog when they are adults and deal with the allergies then that's one thing. However, you are their mother and are supposed to be protecting them from harm to the best of your ability.

This is an easy one if you really think about it and put your emotions aside. Good luck!!! I know how much a part of the family a dog becomes.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi S.,

I'm sorry to hear of your problem. I'm also sorry, some people have responded so harshly to you! I mean, here you are asking for some advice, and not everyone's comments seem helpful. (or even civil)

If I was in your situation, there are several things I would do. First, is there a way to keep your dog out of your children's rooms and play area? Do a thorough cleaning, investigate air cleaners (do they really work, does your doc think this would be helpful?). Do you have carpets that are holding the dander and making the situation worse? Go to an allergy specialist. See what he/she suggests. There may be simple solutions to the problem.

I know my dog is a great watchdog, and the best security system. I call him my "fur-child" and he is my daughter's best friend. She would be devistated if we had to get rid of him - especailly if she knew it was because she had allergies.

If you really have no other choice but to give him away, at least you will know you've done everything within your power to make things work for the whole family.

Good luck to you all!

2 moms found this helpful

Hello S.,

I am sure you love your children, so show it. But if the dog is effecting their health you need to listen to your Doctor and get rid of the dog, no question about it.I have to say in the nicest way possible - SNAP OUT OF IT. You would rather your child be on meds. instead of listening to your Doctor, find the dog a better home, allow your child the chance to be healthy and a chance to be healthy without possibly having to take meds. for allergies. To answer your question -it is selfish of you. I think you already know that. My husband was diagnosed with allergies and then hospitalized for asthma when he was a child because he continued to react to the pets he was allergic to that his mother kept- even thought the Doctor said "GET RID OF THE PETS." His allergies and asthma persisted and worsened with taking many meds. for the symptoms. When he finally left home his health improved drastically. Is that how you want your child to live? Suffering at all, even the slightest, through symptoms and having to be medicated. When all it takes is his mom finding the dog a better home.

1 mom found this helpful

Of course you must find a loving home for your dog. You don't really want to put meds into your 5 year old son, do you?

1 mom found this helpful

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