The thought of cuddling up on the couch with a dog probably warms your heart. But if you have a pet allergy, this close contact may be enough to make you cough, sneeze, and rub your eyes.

The Facts about a Pet Allergy        
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation estimates that 15 to 30 percent of people with allergies find that animals trigger their symptoms. If you fall into this group, this doesn't mean that you can't take pleasure in having a pet. Many dog owners with mild allergies can take some key steps to minimize their symptoms and comfortably co-exist with their four-legged friends.

Pets You Might Tolerate
"There is no truly hypoallergenic dog," says Richard S. Goldstein, DVM, who runs the Mobile Vet Squad in Westchester County, NY. But, he says that there are dogs who produce less dander (dry skin flakes) and can be easier to tolerate for people with allergies.

It's often the dog's dander, saliva, and urine, rather than the hair itself, that causes the allergic reaction. However, since the hair can trap pollen, mold, and other allergens, some people have better luck with short-haired pets, Goldstein adds.