Dear Tabby,

My boyfriend has recently moved in with me and my dog. We’re all ridiculously happy, except for one thing: my boyfriend is having an allergic reaction to my beloved dog! I’m absolutely not getting rid of my dog, and I’m not too keen on getting rid of my boyfriend either. Help!

Allergic to Love in Acres Homes

Dear Allergic to Love,

Oh, boy. I’m so sorry to hear that your boyfriend is having trouble assimilating into your home with your dog. You’re a smart person, though, to know that giving up your dog wouldn’t be a good choice for anyone involved, so thank you for your commitment to your sweet dog. The good news is that there are some solutions to your predicament. They (mostly) involve being diligent about home cleaning, but should make a difference in the life of both your boyfriend and your dog.

Make grooming a priority

Contrary to popular belief, dander from your dog’s skin (rather than fur) is probably what is causing your boyfriend’s allergic reaction. Dander is the dusty stuff that you often see on your dog’s coat. Dander is just discarded skin flakes, but it can cause a whole host of issues for people who are allergic to it. In addition to regular bathing (but not too much bathing--because bathing can dry out your dog’s skin, making dander worse!), simply wiping down your dog with a wet washcloth often can help keep dander at bay.

Clean like your (boyfriend’s) life depends on it

You probably don’t want to hear this, but staying on top of vacuuming, dusting and mopping will help keep allergens out of your home and away from your boyfriend. If you currently have carpet, consider replacing it with hard floors. If that’s not an option, adopt a super regular vacuuming regimen. Also, if possible, clean when your boyfriend isn’t in the home because cleaning stirs up all manner of dust and dander and can make his condition worse before it can get better.

Create at least one dog-free room

Maybe it’s the bedroom or maybe it’s an office, but try and keep one room of your house dog-free so that your boyfriend has a safe place to retreat to when his allergies are bothering him.

Make a doctor’s appointment and a vet appointment

A visit to a doctor might help your boyfriend to treat his allergies. There are many medications available that help immensely with allergies. It might also help to take your dog to the vet to make sure it doesn’t have any conditions that could be causing more dander buildup or skin issues. Your vet might also be able to recommend a special diet that can help control dander.

A good pet owner is open and flexible to finding solutions to issues such as this one, so thank you for reaching out and finding a solution instead of dumping your dog (or your boyfriend)! With a little attention to detail and a lot of love, I feel certain that you’ll soon find a solution to your love triangle!

Do you have a question for Tabby? Email her at deartabby questions@gmail.com.

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