Exposure to dog allergens and subsequent allergic sensitization: an updated review

Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2012 Oct;12(5):424-8. doi: 10.1007/s11882-012-0277-0.


Dog exposure and development or exacerbation of allergic disease and asthma remains an important topic of research. The emotional connection between humans and pets can be quite influential in decisions about removing a pet from the home for health reasons. Patients also often ask about "hypoallergenic" dog breeds or treatments to make their dog less allergenic. Research has examined the link between early life exposure (prenatal, perinatal, childhood) to dogs and an apparent reduced risk of developing allergies later in life, but no consensus has emerged to assist patients or physicians. An important question is whether there are certain ages or conditions under which living with a dog may increase or decrease the risk of allergic sensitization. A better understanding of the variables influencing the outcome of in-home dog exposure will hopefully make significant advances toward alleviating the symptoms associated with allergic sensitization to dogs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Allergens / adverse effects*
  • Allergens / immunology
  • Animals
  • Asthma / etiology
  • Dogs
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity / etiology*
  • Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Hypersensitivity / therapy
  • Immunization / adverse effects
  • Risk Factors


  • Allergens