Can Dogs Be Allergic to Air Conditioning?
After we had our air conditioning installed, we noticed that our dog was showing more frequent allergy symptoms. Surely a dog couldn’t be allergic to air conditioning?
So can dogs be allergic to air conditioning? Dogs cannot be allergic to air conditioning, but they can be allergic to the dust or dander that the air conditioning pushes around the house. Dogs should be assessed for dust mite or dander allergies if using air conditioning increases your dog’s allergy symptoms.
Air Conditioning Can Make Existing Dog Allergies Worse
If your dog already has an allergy to either dust mites or dander, then air conditioning can increase your dog’s allergy symptoms to those allergies.
Without air conditioning, dust mite and dander particles in the air tend to stay confined to the room where they currently are.
When you switch on your Air Con, the unit blows out the cooled air and the dust and dander particles are then circulated around the room. The previously stable air particles are now being moved around the room with greater efficiency.
This process is exactly what you need to keep cool (or warm), but it’s not the best situation regarding the dust that is now being pushed to every part of your room.
Additionally, if you leave doors open, or your house is open-plan, then the air conditioning will also be now distributing the dust and dander to other rooms in your home.
A dog located in one room that was experiencing mild allergy symptoms maybe now suffering from more extreme allergy symptoms.
The symptoms associated with dust mite and dander allergies in dogs include:
- Scratching. All dogs scratch, but if the scratching intensifies then an allergy can the cause.
- Obsessive licking. This licking can be in any area of the body and especially the paws.
- Coughing and sneezing.
- Shortness of breath.
- Watery eyes.
- Digestive disturbances.
Dogs Aren’t Allergic to Dust, They Are Allergic to Dust Mites
While it is often said that dogs are allergic to dust, they are in fact allergic to particles from dust mites, and these particles are embedded in house dust.
Dead dust mite particles and their feces are very small and are invisible to the naked eye. Be assured however that included in your regular house dust there will be dust mite particles.
Dust mites love warm conditions, so your carpets and bedding are favorite homes to dust mites.
In themselves, dust mites are harmless to dogs (and humans). They feed off dead skin cells and that’s their life pretty much summed up.
The microscopic dust mite particles contain dust mite proteins. Human and dog allergies are caused by the body overreacting to alien proteins.
Does Your Dog Suffer from a Dust Mite Allergy? – It’s Very Difficult to Know! The following video gives some advice and also explains how difficult it is to test for:
Here Are 4 Tips to Reduce Dust Mite Allergy Problems in Your Home:
- Steam Cleaning. If you’ve had the same carpets or rugs in your home for quite a long time, then give them a steam clean. Steam cleaning is very effective at killing dust mites and removing the bacteria that they leave behind.
- Bath Time. If you only bath your dog about twice per year, then increase that to four times per year. Over-bathing a dog is harmful to their skin, so keep it to a minimum, But you can increase the frequency if you don’t do it very often. Dogs absorb allergens through their skin that gets trapped in their fur. Bathing can reduce allergens.
- Vacuum Using a Pet Filter. Regular vacuuming is certainly better than not vacuuming at all. But using a hoover with a good filter does a more thorough job.
- Anti-Allergy Dog Bed Covers. Buy an anti-allergy bed cover for your dog’s bed. Your dog may spend a lot of time in his bed, so minimize the dust mite risk by using this added protection.
So What is Dander Allergy?
Dander is dead skin cells that are shed from people and animals. All animals with fur, hair or feathers shed dander. For a more in-depth explanation, you can check out the Wikipedia definition here: Dander
The shocking part… Your dog can be allergic to you!
Yes, people also shed dander. Skin is constantly regenerating and dead skin becomes yet another particle in your house dust.
Ordinarily, you can cure a dog’s allergy by removing the source of the allergy from the house. If your dog is allergic to air freshener then you can remove the air freshener from the house.
But you can’t really ask all your family to leave the house because the dog’s health will improve.
Your dog can also be allergic to dander from other pets that you keep in the house.
So how to get around this tricky allergen source?
Purchase an air purifier.
Air purifiers do a great job regarding dander (and dust) allergies. That also includes dust and dander allergies in people and not just dogs.
The other things you can do are exactly the same as for dust mite allergies. which means regular vacuuming using a good quality pet filter and steam cleaning rugs and carpets. Anti-allergy dog bed covers are also very helpful.
It May Be Dry Skin and Not an Allergy at All
The symptoms of dry skin in dogs are very similar to dust and dander allergies.
Air conditioning in summer and heating in winter both affect the humidity levels in your home. The decreased level of humidity (moisture in the air) is a very common cause of dry, itchy skin. That includes people just as much as dogs.
If itchy skin is the actual issue, then another home gadget is well worth investing in. That piece of kit is a humidifier. A good quality humidifier can rectify dry itchy skin issues super-fast.
Other Ways to Treat Itchy Skin Conditions for Dogs
Chilled Chamomile Tea
This is certainly one of the cheapest, safest and easiest home remedies for itchy dog skin. Make some strong chamomile tea and then refrigerate it. Buy a spray bottle and use that bottle to spray the itchy body areas.
If your dogs’ paws seem to be itching (she is always licking or nibbling them), then use the chilled chamomile tea in a bowl and soak your dogs’ paws in the bowl for a few minutes.
Your dog will thank you for it.
Add a spoonful of olive oil to your dog’s food daily. Your dogs’ dry skin should clear up in about 2 to 3 weeks.
For small terriers try 1 teaspoon.
For medium-sized dogs try 1 dessert-spoon.
Large dogs can have 1 tablespoon.
Most dogs will be fine with olive oil, but if your dog gets an upset tummy then drop this one from the list.
Giving your dog a good brushing helps distribute the body oils evenly around your dog’s body. This can help from having the bodily oils concentrated in small random patches around the body.
Your dog’s natural body oils will naturally help ease dry patches.
Try giving your dog a good brushing weekly.
Never Use Human Shampoo on Our Dog
Dog shampoo has different pH values to human shampoo. Dog skin is thinner than human skin and using human shampoo can cause some pretty nasty skin issues.
Bathe your dog about 4 times per year. Any more than this and you risk removing too much of your dogs’ natural body oils.