How a Hypoallergenic Dog Bed Can Help
One key feature of hypoallergenic dog beds, like the KOPEKS orthopedic memory foam dog bed, is that they tend to be made of thicker foam (which is also a good source of support for arthritic patients).
“A denser foam mattress will be less likely to harbor dust mites, especially if there is a cover that has a weave tight enough to prevent mites from penetrating through. Looser filling and less-dense foam allows more dust and dust mites to reside in it,” says Dr. Kristin Holm, a board-certified veterinary dermatologist with Veterinary Dermatology Consultation Services in Johnston, Iowa.
Dr. Kim says some hypoallergenic fabrics are made from a tightly woven microfiber that blocks the passage of allergy-causing dust mite waste. They’re also easy to clean, which she says may help prevent bacterial skin infections in any dog. In general, however, “Any fabric that is easy to clean, not treated with chemicals and easy to keep free of mold, dust, fleas, dander and dust mites is a good choice.”
The Importance of Regularly Replacing Your Dog’s Bed
If your dog is sneezing and itchy, the dust mite allergen, which Dr. Gordon says is the most common positive environmental allergen in skin allergy-tested patients, may be responsible. “A veterinary university study that evaluated the presence of house dust mites in pet beds found a significant increase in the amount of house dust mite allergen collected in pet beds older than one year.” This was true regardless of how often the beds were cleaned or their type, he says.
Taking precautions to reduce your dog’s exposure to house dust mites in the home will help reduce the severity of their allergy symptoms, says Dr. Gordon. “Because most pet beds will be cleaned less often and dogs do not wash before going to bed, it is reasonable to consider purchasing a pet bed at least annually.”
Even if you plan on buying your pup a new dog bed every year, experts recommend opting for beds that can be easily cleaned, like those with machine-washable covers. (Some beds even have inserts that are machine washable.)
“When the cover is removed completely it is also important that it is completely dry before putting back on the bedding,” advises Dr. Gordon. Experts recommend washing bed covers each week, especially if your dog is allergic to dust mites.
If you find yourself asking, “Why is my dog sneezing and itchy?” with increasing frequency, the solution may be as simple as washing or replacing her bed. Ask your vet if a hypoallergenic dog bed is a good option.