Human allergies to dog dander are common; they cause itching, stuffy nose, eye inflammation, coughing, rash and more. These symptoms can make living with dogs unbearable, no matter how much you love animals. If your allergy is mild, deep-cleaning and a few home modifications may ease your symptoms.
Make and enforce a rule that your dog cannot sleep or climb on the furniture and cannot enter your bedroom. Also, keep him out of your car unless absolutely necessary.
Vacuum every carpet, rug and piece of upholstered furniture in your home several times each week. Ideally, you should use a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner to keep dander from whirling around as you vacuum. If you cannot use a HEPA vacuum, wear a face mask when cleaning.
Shampoo carpets every few months to remove dander that has settled deep into the carpet fibers. Better yet, replace your carpets with tile or wood.
Mop tile and other flooring two or more times per week. This cleans up some dander and dampens the rest to keep it from floating around.
Install HEPA filters in your main living area and in your bedroom to filter dander from the air in your home. These are expensive, but they can make an itchy situation much more comfortable.
Dampen a rag and wipe down your walls, baseboards, tables, floor lamps and other surfaces twice per week. Dog dander lands on and sticks to most surfaces. Rinse cleaning rags in hot water.
Wash your dog's bedding in hot water to remove dander and hair. Depending on how often your dog uses the bedding, you should wash it once or twice per week.
Bathe your dog with a shampoo designed to reduce pet dander. Use lukewarm water, as hot water will dry your dog's skin and increase dander.
Brush your dog frequently. Pet hair itself is not an allergen, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, but it can trap dander and contribute to allergic reactions. Wear a face mask and use a brush designed for holding onto pet hair and dander.
Try an anti-allergen spray on your dog. Most are for use once per day. Consult your veterinarian for a recommendation.
Sandra Ketcham has nearly two decades of experience writing and editing for major websites and magazines. Her work appears in numerous web and print publications, including "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "The Tampa Bay Times," Visit Florida, "USA Today," AOL's Gadling and "Kraze Magazine."