The Boxer is a lovable, affectionate, and intelligent dog that can make a great choice for families with small children. The dog has boundless energy and is willing to partake in fun games and entertainment provided by children. The short coat and relatively easy grooming requirements might make this dog look like an attractive choice for allergy sufferers, but there is more to this dog than what meets the eye.
Even though the Boxer has a short, single-layer coat of fur, this dog is not hypoallergenic. The Boxer sheds a moderate to an extreme amount, increasing the amount of fur and dander allergens in your home. If you suffer from severe pet allergies, the Boxer is not the right choice for your home.
Understanding what truly causes pet allergies may help you find the right dog to add to your family. Proteins that trigger allergens are commonly found in the fur and dander and dog saliva or urine.
Pinpointing the cause of your allergies may open new possibilities to dog ownership and may make a high-shedding dog like the Boxer a perfect candidate for your home. Routine cleaning in your home can help mitigate allergies and simple over-the-counter treatment to help control mild symptoms.
How Much Do Boxers Shed?
Although the Boxer only has a single coat of fur with relatively short hair, this dog is considered a moderate to high shedder. The fur has a constant turnover, producing loose or dead hairs that can float through your home.
While this dog is a wonderful family member, it may not be the best choice if you suffer from severe pet allergies due to dander and fur.
Regular grooming and brushing may help manage the amount of dander and fur in your home. Be sure to brush your Boxer two to three times a week to help eliminate loose or dead fur. Use a soft slicker-style brush when grooming your pet.
Bathing your Boxer about once a month can further help eliminate loose and dead hairs and keep the skin and coat healthy. Keeping up with regular brushing can help reduce the amount of fur that ends up in your home.
What Actually Triggers An Allergic Reaction?
Many people who suffer from pet allergies have long believed they are allergic to fur or dander. In fact, dogs that are labeled as hypoallergenic are classified this way because of their minimal shedding. But, while allergies may be irritated by dander, the actual culprit causing pet allergies is protein.
The proteins can be found in pet fur and dander, but also in pet urine and saliva. The proteins are small and airborne and responsible for causing allergy symptoms.
Understanding that the proteins actually cause a reaction can better help you diagnose your pet allergy. You may not be allergic to proteins found in fur or dander but could very well be allergic to the pet protein found in saliva.
Does Pet Fur Cause Allergies?
The allergy-causing proteins can be found in pet fur and dander, and usually, people who have pet allergies have a reaction to excessive fur in their living environment. While allergies may result from contact with saliva or urine, most pet allergy sufferers struggle with fur and dander.
For this reason, pets that are considered hypoallergenic generally don’t shed or only shed very lightly. It is important to remember that no animal will be completely hypoallergenic. Even dogs such as Poodles or Portuguese Water Dogs that are sold as hypoallergenic may still cause allergies in people allergic to specific proteins. Never adopt a dog expecting to be completely allergy-free.
How Can I Manage Allergies If I Live With Pets?
Pets become part of the family, so it makes sense that you want to live with your dog, even if they cause your pet allergies to flare. Luckily, mild pet allergies can be easily managed with some good practices and regular cleaning at home. Some best practices include:
- Keep a Clean Space – Designate an area of your house as a “pet-free” zone. Most people choose the bedroom. Be sure to keep your pet off the bed and away from the linens in your room. Having a safe haven free of allergens can give you a place to go if allergies start to flare.
- Clean Your Sinuses – Every day, rinse your sinuses with saline. While this may seem excessive, removing allergens that become trapped in your sinuses can improve pet allergies significantly. When allergens have a chance to collect in your sinuses over time, they can worsen your allergy symptoms.
- Hard Flooring – Carpeting tends to trap fur and dander, which can worsen pet allergies for people. If possible, switch to hard surfaces for flooring like ceramic tile or hardwood flooring. These hard surfaces don’t allow dirt, dander, and fur to penetrate the material, creating a cleaner living environment.
- Change Filters – While changing your air filters every few months is a good routine to follow, those that suffer from pet allergies will want to change their filters even sooner. Consider investing in high-quality Hepa filters to trap even more fur, dust, dander, and debris floating through your house.
- Routine Cleaning – You’ll want to create a cleaning routine and stick to it. For some, this means vacuuming at least once per day. For others, it means keeping up with routine dusting around the house. Be sure to target all the hard surfaces where dander and fur can collect, like tables, counters, baseboards, and shelving.
How Can I Treat Pet Allergies?
If you suffer from pet allergies, there may be an easy solution to help reduce your symptoms. Working together with a doctor, you may be able to develop a viable treatment solution to lessen the impact of allergens in your house. Some common ways to treat allergies include:
- Antihistamines – These medicines work to block allergic reactions that create allergy symptoms. Most antihistamines are sold over the counter at most pharmacies. Common antihistamines include Zyrtec, Benadryl, Claritin, or Allegra. Antihistamines can be in a nasal spray or oral pill.
- Nasal Steroid – Most commonly found in a spray, nasal steroids can help reduce inflammation in the nose. These sprays are available as an over-the-counter medication or as a prescription. Usually, prescription nasal steroids are a bit stronger.
- Decongestants – The most common over-the-counter decongestants include Sudafed or Allegra-D. These medications help to reduce swelling, which can mitigate congestion in the nose and sinuses.
- Prescription Mediation – If you suffer from severe pet allergies but have a furry family member, you may need to talk to your doctor about prescription allergy medication. Many prescription options have higher doses to better manage moderate to severe allergic reactions to pet dander and fur.
Can Allergy Shots Help with Pet Allergies?
If you or a family member is set on getting a dog, but you suffer from pet allergies, getting an allergy shot may be a suitable solution for you.
The shots are also known as allergy vaccines and can help you create suitable antibodies to help mitigate allergies. Although allergy shots may seem like an easy fix, they take time, patience, and commitment to be fully effective at reducing or even eliminating pet allergies.
Allergy shots require patience and can take a while for the body to build up natural antibodies. In some cases, it can take a year of injections every week before you have enough antibodies in your system to reduce your symptoms.
Following your weekly shots, you’ll need monthly shots to help maintain your level of antibodies until you no longer require maintenance vaccinations to fight off pet allergies.
Although it may seem like a big commitment, people can eventually go symptom-free while living with dogs with the right consistency.
Are Boxers easy to train?
Boxers may have a great deal of energy, especially as puppies, but these are incredibly intelligent dogs that are quite easy to train.
The Boxer can learn new behaviors and can quickly learn new tricks. Plus, Boxers are eager to please their owners, which makes them more willing to perform the wanted behaviors.
How are Boxers with young children?
The Boxer is a wonderful choice for families with small children. The dog has a tremendous amount of energy and is lively and good-natured. Energetic children will have fun playing with such a lovable and affectionate dog. The Boxer has endless energy to play games and run with small children.
Plus, the Boxer is a very affectionate and loving dog. This breed is quick to add members to its family and is a very social and patient dog.
The Boxer will calmly play with children and largely tolerate errant steps and tugs at its ears and tail. Of course, it is always important to supervise dogs and teach children the proper way to behave around dogs to treat them respectfully.