Posted 3/26/2010 10:07 AM (GMT -6)
There is an item for washing dogs that is WONDERFUL! I originally used it at our vet's dog wash facility. It fits on your hand and has pea sized nubs on it. Our lab loves it and it helps massage the skin while it removes the undercoat, dander and excess hair. My daughter noticed an improvement the very first time I used it.
When she & hubby & bubby moved back home with us our dogs were a big problem for her. Rather than remove the dogs we made some changes. We have always confined our dogs to the kitchen and finished basement along with the back yard. This leaves the living room and bedrooms dog-free (other than the dander that gets walked into them.) We are in the process of removing the carpeting in the entire house. The home was built in the 60's and has hardwood floors below the carpeting. Until you can rid yourself of the carpets a hepa filter vacuum will help a lot. Steam cleaning the carpets on a regular 4 month schedule also helps remove dust mites, dander and other allergens. I found the carpet cleaning to be cheaper than lots of medications.
Went to our local restaurant supply store and bought a Rubbermaid floor cleaning system. The duster and floor pads attach to the handle with velcro, are machine washable and keep the wood floors clean and dust free. I use 1/2 cup of white vinegar in a quart of water in a spray bottle to clean the floors most of the time. Much less expensive in the long run than the ones sold on TV, just spray with the bottle, run the pad across the floor, rinse it out and you're dander free. Wash the pads about once every two weeks.
Also, you could ask your partner to groom the dog outside each evening. Get a package of aprons from that same restaurant supply store (or Sams) and ask that your partner wear the apron to groom the dog. This will keep the dander off their clothing, prevent it from being brought into the house and the aprons can be washed weekly. They should be folded up and put in a shopping bag when not in use to contain the dander.
It appears that dogs are going to be a part of your life for a while so I'd consider getting the shots. Once you have your levels built up the lessening of symptoms is such a nice relief. Good luck with this.