Allergic to Dogs????

Updated on March 16, 2011
J.E. asks from Flint, MI
11 answers

My son(5 months old) is allergic to something, his doctor thinks it might be dogs......I have 3, I had them before he was born. He just recently started having symptoms that are very mild and I try not to let him around them, but they love him and he's amazed by them. And all my family and friends have dogs. I'm not totally convinced that that's what it is. So my question is how do I know for sure if it's dogs? And if he is how can deal with it, without getting rid of my dogs?

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answers from Detroit on

Have him tested to find out if its true or not. If so then deal with it, but right now its very possible he isn't. The Allergist will know what to do if he is indeed allergic.

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answers from Albuquerque on

You can do skin testing on a 5 month old for allergies. Ask for a referral or find a pediatric allergist in your area. The test takes about 30 minutes and it's quite easy. Then you'll know for sure!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Can you get him tested for allergies at this age? Ask your pedi so you know for sure. If it's the dogs, then you can make an informed decision about how to handle it. If you can rule out the dogs, then you need to look at other issues. My oldest was tested at age 3 and they did 32 allergens at once but I would imagine that for a 5-month-old, they could just skin test for dogs and if he gets the reaction, you'll have your answer.

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answers from Phoenix on

Get one of those air filters for his room and the living room (or all your rooms.) My friend's son is very allergic to cats and they have a lot. She has air filters and it helps. She also used acupuncture to clear the allergy but she still uses the filters. He was a toddler when she did this and he did fine. (It was needless acupuncture.) Good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

Detergent on my blankets makes me have a hard time breathing and I cough. I've been using Tide free from the advice I received on these boards and it really helps. I had an allergy test done recently and cats scored the highest # while I scored low on dogs. The cat stays in the basement and the dog sheds everywhere. I also had a whole sheet filled with things the allergy test found such as grass and dust mites and weeds. Don't rule out your dogs until you know for sure. Are you sure it's not milk?



answers from Detroit on

My hubby went through this when he was born...had so many issues the first year of his thought it was their dogs...they sent them to a family member's house for two weeks and he improved greatly...they ended up getting rid of them (heartbreaking, I know) when he turned a year old and ALL his problems went away! He was severely allergic to dogs. He ended up getting more of a hypo allergenic dog (no dog is 'allergy free') when he was 12, so there is hope!

Then, comes my daughter...similar issues as you...but we don't have dogs. We visit a family member who had just gotten a lab, and within 45 minutes of being in their house, her eyes swelled shut, got hives, was uncomfortable, etc. Tried it again a week later with the same results. Had her allergy testing and she's severely allergic to dogs. We avoid all homes with dogs/cats right now...just not worth how bad it makes her feel. Most of my family has dogs, so we tend to meet at the same homes, but that's OK...they all understand and want to accommodate so we're included.

So, I'd agree with the others - get allergy tested and do whatever you can to limit the contact the dogs have with the child. If you see an improvement, you'll know for sure. At the end of the day, you have to do what's right for your child, even if that means making a tough decision about pets. Good luck!!!



answers from Honolulu on

Well, instead of the Doctor "thinking" is it the dogs.. you need to get a conclusive diagnosis.
Allergy tests.
Then, once you know what he is allergic to, then proceed from there.
No sense guessing.
That can take forever.

I have had Asthma since childhood, we had dogs, but they were kept only outside. I also had air filters in my room etc. No carpeting in my room. No cats. I also have allergies... but it is not as pronounced as I have gotten older.
But, allergies can escalate or not, depending. Each person being different. But, if the triggers are not eradicated or handled better, then the person who is allergic, is pretty miserable.
So... that is it in a nutshell.



answers from Minneapolis on

As a Mom with a child with severe dog and dust mite allergies, as well as cats, guina pigs, hamsters/rats, and more. I would suggest you get him tested by having them draw blood vs. the skin prick test. We did this when our daughter was about 4 because there is no way she would not throw an absolute fit at all that poking! The test will tell you exactly what he is allergic to if anything. There are steps you can take to control dust allergies, not sure what to tell you about the dogs. My daughter reacts to some breeds far worse than others. Labs give her the most severe reaction. She cannot go into a home with a lab without major benedryl dosing. We actually got a Wheaten Terrier last summer because it has hair, not fur, and is good for allergies. Much to our delight, she has ZERO issues with him.



answers from Columbus on

Actually, you can have your son allergy tested (via the "scratch tests") anytime after they are born. However, most docs will wait until age 1 or later. But tell your doctor that you do want to get allergy testing (this will tell you for sure if your child is allergic to dogs or not, as well as other allergens). This is according to the pediatric immunologist our son sees.

Our son was started on Singulair at about 14m, due to constant, mild congestion. We already knew that he was candidate for asthma and allergies due to family history (on both sides) and also being born by c-section & in winter (all known factors for respiratory problems, include allergies & asthma). At 20 months, he was tested for allergies (scratch test) by a pediatric immunologist; we were referred to the p.i. by our regular pediatrician. (Our pediatrician has kids with severe allergies & so is very knowledgeable and very proactive).

Anyway, our son did test positive for allergies to dogs. Our allergist said that in a perfect world, that we would get rid of our dogs, but that he did not expect that of us, since the dogs are family members too. He said to limit the child's exposure to them -- the dogs should stay out of the room(s) the baby spent the most time in. Avoid licking, and if the baby pets the dogs, he should wash his hands afterword.

Also, no stuffed animals in the crib with him, and sheets/blankets washed often in hot water. We're lucky because we have hardwood floors, so that is already better for our son than having carpets would be. When I'm doing heavy duty cleaning/dusting, I make sure to change my clothes afterward before doing anything with my son, and I try to keep him out of the rooms I'm cleaning in.

We found that the Furminator brush was really good at removing hair, and I've been trying to stay on top of that. You can bathe the dogs, and that will help a bit. We try to sweep/swiffer (better to use a wet mop than dry, though since the dry will kick more stuff into the air, stirring it around) about 2x per week in the main areas that the dogs are in and once a week every else.

I would really recommend getting allergy tested, and to talking to your doc about medications. According to our pediatrician, Singulair has been tested safe in babies as young as 6 months. Having constant congestion can make the baby susceptible to ear infections, bronchitis, asthma, etc. It may be that until it gets worse, they don't want to medicate, but do keep these things in mind. We were leery of medication so young (and I know your guy is younger than ours was), but after talking about it and reading up (on good/knowledgeable sites like WebMD, MayoClinic, etc.), we went with the Singulair (Zyrtec, a different kind of drug, can also be good/useful, but in our case, it didn't help). It has made a world of difference.


answers from Dover on

Your son is too young to have allergy testing right now. The best thing you can do is keep your dogs at a distance (preferably outside), be sure you have cleaned your house well (what are you using to do that?...your son could be having a reaction to the cleaners or other household products.). He could be allergic to the dogs or something they have carried in (like a pollen from outside).

I would put the dogs out and detox my house with safe cleaning alternative, and then clean everywhere. See how your son does. If he does better, allow him to interact w/ the dogs outside (as to not recontaminate your house until you you know). If he does well, you can let the dogs back in.



answers from Detroit on

Minimize his facial and hand contact with the dogs. Vacuum furiously especially if they shed a lot. Get rid of carpeting, especially in the child's room. Major testing is not usually done until around 3-4 years of age. Wash his hands immediately if contact with the dogs. Limit furniture sitting for the dogs. Unfortunately there is no perfect answer except to get rid of the dogs and do not visit houses with dogs. What does your pediatrician say to do? A air purifier would be helpful, but it must be a good one. Haired dogs are your best bet.

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