Allergic to Dogs and Allergies in Dogs Resource

Allergy Friendly Dog Care | General, Preparation and Feeding


Caring for any new dog has many facets including providing it with suitable and clean accommodation, feeding and nourishing the animal correctly, regular exercise, brushing, grooming and skin care, check-ups at the veterinarians, and providing it with a warm, safe and loving environment. Time and energy must be invested in the dog, not only to aid the bonding process but also to enable the owner to recognize subtle changes in the animal that may be indicative of an underlying health problem. Making an effort to spend time with your dog, to play with it and treat it with respect will be returned many times over as it becomes a loyal and faithful companion.

Although allergy friendly dogs come in all shapes and sizes, they tend to be generally on the smaller side and like most small breeds of dog, they may be considered a little more temperamental in nature and demanding of your love. The term ‘breeds’ in the context of allergy friendly dogs is used loosely because it represents both dogs recognized as distinct breeds by official breeding associations (e.g. The Kennel Club) e.g. Havanese or Schnauzer, as well those that currently do not fulfill this criteria e.g. hybrid/ ‘designer’ dogs such as the Goldendoodle or Schnoodle.

Allergy friendly breeds typically enjoy sitting on their owner’s lap, curling up by their feet, or following you around the house when you are at home. As we have discovered previously, many factors determine a dog’s temperament and genetics represent but one variable. Even dogs from the same breed will have highly individual personalities and the way that a puppy is reared and nurtured into adulthood, will have a profound effect on the dog’s temperament. Love and affection from the owner without proper structure, discipline and training can be as detrimental as a disciplined dog that receives little attention or affection.

Finally, allergy friendly dogs are prone to a variety of ailments such as eye issues, arthritis, joint problems and tumors as a result of selective breeding over numerous generations as well as their relatively small size. Although one can never predict future problems given that every dog is unique, it pays to take the time to understand the main pros and cons regarding health issues of different breeds. Many potential problems can be lessened or avoided entirely simply by knowing in advance the warning signs and dealing with them promptly and effectively should they materialize.

Preparation for Bringing Home a Dog

Preparation is key when bringing home a dog or puppy. As with all dogs, allergy friendly dogs should have a safe and designated place in a particular room of your house to rest and sleep during the day and night. Allowing your dog to sleep on your bed is not an option. This will increase your risk of an allergy attack and seriously damage any routines you are in the process of establishing.

If you are bringing home a puppy, a young non-toilet trained dog or simply as a short-term measure for an older dog, you can make a temporary bed out of an appropriate sized cardboard box that is cut down low on one side so that the animal can gain easy access. Leaving three sides higher will help reduce the risk of drafts. It can be lined with an absorbent and insulating 1-2 cm layer of old paper which can be removed easily when soiled. Old newspaper should be laid down around the bed area in case the puppy or young non-toilet trained dog wishes to go to the toilet. It’s a cheap but practical solution given that during the process of toilet training a dog, you will get through a significant quantity of paper. In addition, both the cardboard box and paper are easily disposed of and are biodegradable in nature.

You should keep an appropriate sized water and food bowl at hand and once the dog has had a chance to acquaint itself with its new environment, the bowls should be placed in an area outside of the bed. Introducing it within an hour of arrival allows the dog to calm down but will also begin the process of teaching the dog a sense of routine, order and structure as well as letting it know who is ‘top dog’ i.e you. Dogs, being intelligent creatures, are quick to appreciate the concept of not biting the hand that feeds them!

When toilet trained, soft beds for dogs are readily available through various retail outlets, although an old warm blanket to lie on will usually suffice. As a result of their hair characteristics and a tendency to having little or no undercoat, keeping an allergy friendly dog in a draft-free environment is important. Comfort aside, a dog such as this might be at more risk of developing pneumonia if kept in a cold draft. This is especially true when dealing with a puppy, an old dog or one that is unwell.

On Arrival

When you first bring your new dog home, you should allow it to roam around to get an idea of its new surroundings. If you have other pets, you should put them in another room while the dog is investigating its new home. Depending on the breed of dog, they may be very scared at first and not want too much human contact. This especially applies to puppies that have just been separated from their mother and siblings. Therefore, be patient and careful about handling them too frequently or too energetically for the first few days. In particular, children need to understand that they are not a toy. Fortunately, the vast majority of dogs adapt very quickly when in a loving environment.

Respecting your allergy friendly dog’s space will result in more respect from your dog. Make sure your dog has a clean bed or blanket and if your dog is sleeping, then you should not disturb it. This will only make the dog miserable, irritated or angry. Taking care of a dog also means respecting the dog’s boundaries. Some small breeds will become agitated when their space is invaded during those times when they do not want to be disturbed. As your dog develops, you will learn when to socialize with it and when to leave it in peace. However, this does not mean that you tolerate it snapping or biting you, and through correct training and discipline, this unacceptable behavior can be eradicated at quite a young age.

What to Do After Buying

It is always advisable to get a new dog checked out by a veterinarian as soon as possible to make sure it is healthy and that its vaccinations are up-to-date. If you can’t afford the vaccinations, wait until you can before you buy a dog.

Caring For an Allergy Friendly Dog - Veterinarian

Remember that in some countries it is compulsory to have a dog microchipped. This is a one-time permanent procedure carried out by a veterinarian whereby a microchip the size of a rice grain is injected just under the skin between the shoulders. The chip can be scanned by any vet or animal shelter to reveal a code that is unique for that animal. The advantages of this are that:

  • It helps ensure that the dog/registration documents match up correctly.
  • It provides verifiable proof of ownership should the dog ever get lost as the unique code can be cross referenced to a database that contains its owner’s details.

Finally, be aware that in many countries, you need to take out liability insurance in case your pet causes an accident. This is in addition to any pet insurance you may take out to cover veterinary bills should your dog become ill.


Dogs should be fed appropriate to their age, weight and breed which is why buying dog food that specifies the correct intake is preferable. You should research which dog food is the best by checking out relevant breed-specific sites online and asking the veterinarian or the breeder. Changes to the brand of food a dog consumes should always be undertaken over a period of time, so as to not upset their stomach. In addition, always take care to follow the labels on the food.

Be aware that the nutritional requirements of the dog will vary throughout its lifespan and can also be affected by pregnancy, disease or illness. Therefore, being able to measure out the dog’s food quickly and easily, safe in the knowledge that it contains all the recommended nutritional components for a healthy body, teeth and coat, is highly advantageous and brings peace of mind.

Although dogs love to eat the same food as their owners, the nutritional content and levels of salt and sugar may be unsuitable for them. A common problem with dogs that are used to receiving human food, either in addition to their own or as their main source of food, is that they invariably ingest too many calories. This can result in obesity and possible joint problems, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Furthermore, food allergies are not uncommon in certain breeds of dog (See: Dog Allergies Symptoms – Allergies in Dogs Symptoms). The symptoms of this can include red bumps located under the chin or in the ear flaps, frequent scratching or shaking ear flaps and head, blistering of eye lids and reddening of eyes, licking lips or paws frequently and sometimes loss of pigmentation around the lips. Such dogs require to be seen by a veterinarian as the condition can be distressing for the animal and they can develop secondary infections. These dogs will usually be placed on allergy friendly or hypoallergenic food that contains modified proteins. If this proves unsuccessful, the dog may require regular steroid injections or, in severe cases and though relatively rare, unfortunately they may have to be put to sleep.

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