Allergies can be treated with antihistamines, decongestants, prescription steroids and other drugs, according to WebMD. Allergy shots are also available and are very helpful, though the full treatment can take years. While it is possible to become immune or grow out of allergies, repeated exposure often increases the allergic reaction.
Allergic reactions to dogs are caused not by the hair or fur but by secretions found in a dog's skin or saliva, reports Hill's Pet Nutrition. When the fur or skin are shed, it carries the oil secretions out, triggering allergic reactions. However, allergies do not prevent people from owning dogs. Smaller dogs tend to provoke less severe or frequent reactions because they shed less skin and hair than large dogs. Bathing, brushing and grooming a dog frequently can help minimize the amount of dander in the air.
Keeping a clean house can also be helpful, says Hill's Pet Nutrition. Surfaces should be wiped frequently and carpeted areas vacuumed often, preferably with a HEPA filter that can catch the allergens. The dog's bedding should be washed regularly. Hardwood floors retain less hair than carpeted surfaces. WebMD also suggests keeping the dog outside as much as possible and using a central air cleaner on heaters and air conditioners to prevent hair and dander from being blown back indoors.