Is My Baby Allergic to Dogs?

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If you own a dog, you’re well aware that they’re a deeply loved member of the family, but so are babies – but there’s a clear winner here. 

These two lovable members of your household can be at odds if your baby suffers from an allergy to dogs.

If your baby is displaying allergic reactions around your dog, you’re probably wondering, “Is my baby allergic to dogs?” And if that’s the case, is there any way your baby and dog can coexist? 

Read on to find out.

How Do I Know If My Baby Is Allergic to Dogs?

The development of dog allergies in babies is very common, which is actually surprising since the allergens emitted by dogs are otherwise virtually harmless.

Dog allergies in babies come with a variety of tell-tale signs. Be on the lookout for the following indicators of potential dog allergy in babies.

What makes it difficult is that babies can become ill often due to their immune system so knowing if they’re just sick or genuinely allergic can be tricky.

Runny Nose and Watery Eyes

If your baby’s nose and eyes are constantly runny and watery, respectively, this may be due to a dog allergy. This is especially true if your baby is exhibiting these symptoms without showing any signs of a fever (how you could differentiate between a cold).

Your baby’s body reacts to the dead skin (dander) that’s discharged by your dog all over the house, causing a spike in histamine in their bloodstream. This causes excess mucus to form and run out of your baby’s nose.

Stuffy Nose

If your baby’s nose is stuffy for an extended period of time while there are no indications of them having a cold or the flu, this is a strong indication of allergy to dogs.

dog dander baby

Constant Wiping of Nose

Dog allergens aggravate the mucus membrane due to the accumulation of fluids in the nasal passage. This makes your baby constantly want to wipe their nose.

Sneezing

If your baby experiences a sneezing fit immediately after interaction with your dog, it’s likely that the increased histamine from your baby’s reaction to dog allergens is what’s triggering it.

Wheezing

Babies that are allergic to dogs may start wheezing soon after interacting with them. This is due to them inhaling dead dog skin particles (dander) in the air, which can inflame the airways. Wheezing is a sign that your baby’s canine allergy is severe.

Rubbing Eyes

Your baby may experience itchiness or irritation in their eyes, causing them to constantly want to rub them. This may be due to airborne allergens from your dog that have made contact with your baby’s eyes. 

This can also happen as a result of your dog licking your baby’s face, causing their eyes to be exposed to the dog’s saliva.

The areas around the eyes can appear puffy.

Skin Rash

If your baby’s skin turns red and bumpy on every occasion in which they come in contact with your dog, chances are this is due to an allergy. 

Rashes that stop itching after a few hours from when your baby and dog were playing are almost definitely a result of dog allergy.

Other Causes of These Symptoms

It’s important not to jump to conclusions until you’re certain that the source of your baby’s allergy is your dog. The symptoms exhibited by your baby could be due to an allergy to something else entirely.

Before assuming your baby’s symptoms are an allergic reaction to your dog, make sure it’s not a case of hay fever or other conditions with similar symptoms.

What Part of Dogs Are Allergens?

You’re probably wondering what exactly it is about dogs that induces allergic reactions. Well, The answer to that question lies in the proteins produced by dogs’ bodies. 

These proteins appear in their fur as dead skin (often referred to as dander). They also end up in their saliva and urine.

It’s important to note that dog fur in itself isn’t an allergen. The allergenic part is the dead skin. As your dog moves around the house, it inevitably deposits its dead skin on furniture, clothes, carpets, and even in the air itself.

An allergic individual’s immune system reacts to the aforementioned proteins in an irregular manner. They’re the root cause of the symptoms that accompany an allergic reaction.

How to Reduce Allergens in the Home

Here are some helpful tips to help keep the allergens in your home at a minimum:

  • Use a particulate air purifier and vacuum regularly to keep dander at bay.
  • Limit your dog’s access to just one room, if possible. This will help decrease its contact with your baby.
  • Avoid upholstery that’s difficult to clean. Instead, go for easily washable furniture covers to combat dander accumulation.
  • Wash your baby’s hands with soap and change their clothes right after they interact with your dog.
  • Giving your dog a shower once a week will help shed that dead skin down the drain instead of around the house.
Hoover-H-Purifier
An air purifier

Should I Get Rid of the Dog If My Baby Is Allergic?

Your dog is extremely dear to your heart, and you probably consider it a beloved member of the family. So it’s an unenviable position to be in when your baby is allergic to your dog.

If your baby’s allergy is severe, and you’ve exhausted all possibilities and ways of circumventing the issue to no avail, getting rid of your dog may be your only choice.

But, we think they can coexist with enough space and limiting interactions. Keeping your dog off of furniture and making sure they don’t mix can work, even if hard.

However, before making that heart-wrenching choice, you should make sure, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that your baby’s allergic reactions are indeed being caused by your dog.

Conclusion

Dog allergies in babies are a common occurrence. If your baby exhibits symptoms such as a runny or stuffy nose, watery eyes, sneezing, or skin rashes when it plays with your dog, your baby is likely allergic.

However, many other conditions have similar symptoms, so you should make sure that your baby’s condition is indeed due to a dog allergy.

Even if it is, there are quite a few ways you can help your baby and dog coexist by reducing the amount of dog allergens in your home, from using a particulate air purifier to limiting your dog’s access to parts of your house where your baby is likely to be.