DH Asked A Hard Question

So last night my DH brought up a concern to me that he has been thinking about, and it has really rocked my internal stability a little bit. He asked what I would do if we adopted a baby that turned out to be allergic to our dogs. I honestly don't know what the right answer is to this one, so PLEASE help me out! The thought of re-homing my dogs, even if I could be absolutely sure that they were going to a great place, seems so unthinkable to me!

I know that I am worrying about a situation that may never happen (fingers crossed), but what feedback do you have for me?

Re: DH Asked A Hard Question

  • Honestly, it's not something I'd worry about right now. It may be a non-issue, it may be a mild allergy, there are too many unknowns or what-ifs to think about pre-child
    [Deleted User]AlandkeriA
  • My parents had to make this decision with my older brother, who is their biological son.  He was born, and they very quickly learned that he was severely allergic to their two cats. 

    They were living away from family at the time and were unable to find a suitable home to give the cats to.  Ultimately they had to put the cats down (they were told this would happen at the shelter since they were black cats, which are hard to adopt).  This was tragic for both of my parents, as they raised them from kittens and they were their babies until my brother was born.  As I got older, we've had conversations about if they would have done things differently.  Although it was one of the hardest decisions to make, they wouldn't change it.  Human baby trumps fur babies.

    You never know what's going to happen when you have children.  You could have the same issue with bio children.  I think trying to pin yourself an answer ahead of time is an unreasonable request.  In the end, you will make the best decision for your child regardless.

    For my DH and I now going through the fostering process, we were asked if there was any reason that we would ask for a child to be removed from our home.  As tough as it was to say, we did say that if there was a danger to our small dogs that we could not "teach" away, we would not want to keep a child in our home.  It felt terrible to say, like we are bad people...but it was honest.  We also know that we will try to do everything in our power to help that child correct the behavior or find come Claritin if it's an allergy.  Our situation is also is different with fostering since we don't know if they child will every become "ours". 

    I think this is the start of many tough questions that come along with parenthood!  Don't beat yourself up too much wondering about the what if's.


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  • str8otastr8ota member
    Agree with PPs, you're getting way ahead of yourself. Depending on the age you're willing to go up to, sometimes it is already known if the child does has allergies. For us, it's up to age 2 and we have no pet allergies on our paperwork. Plus these days there are so many treatments for pet allergies that I never gave it a second thought. With filters, cleaning house, keeping your dogs groomed, pedi being involved, allergies really shouldn't be an issue unless your child has to be in a bubble because of the most severe of allergies.

    Idk if you have read the book "and baby makes 4", if not, check it out. It's a great book that helps you work with your dogs before a baby is in your home to help make the transition easier.
  • This may be comforting to you. According to WebMd:

     "children exposed to animals before their immune systems are fully formed at age 2 are unlikely to become allergic."

    I have no idea how accurate this is but I know cat allergies are much more prevalent to dog allergies and there are different types of pet shampoo and even a shot that your dogs can get that cuts down on dander if allergies are an issue.

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker

  • jenbabejenbabe member
    I was concerned about this too and my chiropractor said the same as the above poster.  With exposure from day 1 it was unlikely that a child would be allergic to our dogs. 

    Started TTC January 2007 4 failed IUIs, 2 failed IVFs
    2012 - Adopted Child #1
    2014- Adopted Child #2

    2015 - Fostering Child #3

    Check out my infertility turned adoption blog: Discovering Joy In The Storm

  • Also remember that extreme questions seem to be part of the adoption waiting game. I remember wondering what we'd do if one of us got seriously I'll, etc. Perfectly normal
    [Deleted User]
  • Thanks everyone! That does make me feel better.
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • I have an allergy to cats, yet I've always had one. There are a lot of precautions you can take in most cases. including having the bedroom be cat free. Honestly I am severely allergic to dust mites, yet you can't environmentally avoid that, I have to treat it, and minimize the exposure. It depends on the situation, and the what the reaction is.
  • I am allergic to cats and dogs and have always had them. My parents did what they could to minimize (air filters and brushing/bathing the animals) and now I have animals and would not give them away. Ever.
    I am worried Roo may have a little allergy but if that is the case I will start bathing the animals with that allergen shampoo, get better air filters and invest in some Claritin if needed.
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    [Deleted User]
  • Okay, this struck a cord with me, because when we adopted, we actually placed in our homestudy that we were open to children between the ages of 2-6 (later adjusted upwards to 8), who had a range of special needs, but were not allergic to cats or dogs.

    HA!  If I had only known then what I know now!

    First of all, we were incredibly naive to think that anyone would have known if our kids were alergic to cats or dogs, because not only are those animals not common household pets in Peru, they would have had little to no exposure to them in an enclosed space living in an orphanage.  Furthermore, with all the other special needs of the children living with them (and their own), who would have time to have noticed?

    Look, adoption comes with some risks.  Once of which is that we won't ever know our children's complete family medical history.  Even if your child's birth family tries to give you a complete history, it will likely have mistakes or omissions, and you won't usually have the ability to ask about things as they come up.  In the scheme of things, allergic reactions to animals are small potatoes.  As others have said, frequently they can be managed, and you likely won't be in the position of having to rehome your pooches, especially if you are adopting an infant.

    The thing is, with any child, you are committing to raise and love no matter what their health turns out to be like.  Just like you will love your child and put their concerns above all else if they have a serious health condition or learning disability, you will love them and meet their needs if they have allergies.  You will find a solution that works for your family, because as loving and responsible parents, you will find a way to meet their needs and protect them above all else.
  • erinmc1erinmc1 member
    I was severely allergic to dogs as a child, so it was something that my husband and I discussed hypothetically.  My parents said they would take our dog, so he would have stayed in the family.  Our son has no allergies though, so we didn't have to worry about it in the long run.
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