Kids love pets, so parents may not realize that their infants have dog allergies until they have already adopted and bonded with a puppy. When suspicions allergy symptoms appear, it may be too late to break up the budding relationship. Parents can look for signs of infant and child allergy problems before deciding on pet ownership. The American Kennel Club suggests exposing family members to various dog breeds ahead of time and KidsHealth recommends allergy skin testing.
Allergic reactions to dog dander send histamines into babies’ bloodstreams. This allows fluid to accumulate in the nasal passages, to be shed as mucus. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that animal allergies represent one form of perennial allergic rhinitis, whose classic symptom is a runny nose. Nasal drainage with no fever present may indicate dog allergies in infants.
Histamine inflammatory action and the accumulation of too much mucus will cause nasal congestion. Allergy symptoms of stuffy noses in babies, absent of other cold or flu symptoms, may mean problems with dog dander. Infants do not even need to touch dogs to develop nasal symptoms.
Histamines in the blood also trigger the sneezing reflex in humans. Congestion and sneezing in babies may obstruct breathing to form one of the more obvious signs of infant allergy. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, sneezing that takes place only after contact with dogs may indicate pet allergy problems. Sneezing that continues after removing a dog from the home doesn’t necessarily indicate an absence of sensitivity, because dog dander can remain in indoor environments for months.
Additional dog allergy symptoms include itching of the mucous membranes, which may begin before other respiratory symptoms. Parents who notice their babies repeatedly rubbing their noses with an upward movement might be right to suspect dog allergies.
Eye rubbing may be a sign of dog allergies in babies. UMMC relates that histamine-induced eye itching indicates allergic rhinitis as well. Infants who have had physical contact through petting dogs or from dogs licking their hands, and who then rub their eyes, may be spreading allergens in that manner, too.
Babies’ skin is soft and sensitive. Infants may experience allergic reactions to direct contact with dog dander. Skin allergy symptoms include red, itchy rashes, which may have raised bumps, or hives.