TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Wallet Hub and Smart Asset recently ranked Tucson among the most dog-friendly cities in the United States. There are many benefits to this, but one drawback is allergies.
Dr. David Friedman at the Allergy Partners of Arizona says people with seasonal allergies are often also allergic to dogs.
“Similar reactions that happen with grass or rag weed, or olive tree pollen will happen with dog allergy,” Friedman said.
The symptoms could be congestion, sore throat, coughing, or hives. There are various ways people with dogs at home can prevent this.
“Air cleaners, cleaning the sheets, having a dog-free area,” Friedman said.
Dr. Friedman says most of the allergens are carried in dog saliva, so you could avoid petting your dog’s head, or consider getting a female dog.
“Female dogs disperse less allergens into the house than male dogs,” Friedman said.
But avoiding dog allergies outside of the house can be especially difficult in Tucson. Being a dog-friendly city means more dogs in public spaces. Managing these allergies is worth it for many dog lovers.
“If you have a dog, it's a natural conversation starter," said Evan Maclean, Director of Arizona Canine Cognition Center. "It's something that brings people together and creates a sense of community.”
Research shows dogs are great for stress-relief and they make it easier to relate to complete strangers. They also force their owners spend time outdoors.
“Dogs need exercise, and because they need exercise we help them get it by taking them for a walk," Maclean said. "But that’s good for us too.”
The American Association of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology has more tips for how to ameliorate dog allergies.
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