About 30 percent of people are triggered only by one protein found exclusive in male pups.

If you love being around dogs but your allergies flare whenever you're near a playful pup, new research reveals that having a female dog or neutering your male canine could help you avoid an immune system reaction. According to CNN, the Can f 5 protein, which is found in male dogs, triggers a significant amount of allergies. "Up to 30 percent of people who are allergic to dogs are actually allergic to one specific protein that's made in the prostate of a dog," Dr. Lakiea Wright, an allergist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, said.

dog and owner lounging on couch
Credit: Getty / LSOphoto

The Can f 5 protein created in male dogs can spread to its skin and hair when the canine urinates. This can make the protein spread easily to other areas of your home. "These proteins are very lightweight, so they get dispersed in the air as the animal moves around," Wright shared. "They can also stay in the air for a long time and land on our furniture, mattress, even our clothes."

While all dogs can produce multiple proteins in their bodies, doctors can still test your blood to find out if you are allergic to a particular one. "When we suspect a dog allergy, we're testing for that whole allergen," Wright shared. "But then we're also looking at specific proteins, the parts that make up the whole, to refine that diagnoses."

If it turns out that you are not allergic to the Can f 5 protein but still have some sensitivities, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recommends steps like changing your clothes after you've been around dogs, brushing your canine outdoors, and keeping pets outside of your bedroom to help.


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