Spoiler: You can still cuddle them!
There are very, very few things more heart-wrenching than being obsessed with dogs but also being allergic to them.
I love dogs so much I sneak into dog parks just to stare at them running around. I have a dog calendar and a dog stuffed animal on my desk. I mean, I even deeply connect with dogs I see crossing the street 20 feet away. The only problem? I feel like I'm going to die when I'm around them — itchy, watery eyes, a runny nose, wheezing, the works. But as a grown adult who lives alone and loves company, I want a dog, no matter how miserable they make my body feel.
For starters, not all dog allergies are the same. You can be allergic to their dander, their saliva, or their urine — and, sometimes, more than one of those things.
Dander is the most common of the three allergens, Mainardi says. Dander is what flakes off of a dog's skin and attaches to fur or hair. When a dog sheds, dander comes off with the hair, comes in contact with your skin, eyes, nose, or mouth, and makes you feel like an itch monster. A reaction to salivary proteins is the second-most common dog allergy, and an allergy to urinary proteins is the least common.
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That means there’s no such thing as being allergic to dog hair.
You're really reacting to dander.