A pet allergy is an allergic reaction to a pets dander and/or saliva. If you suspect you might have an animal allergy it’s best to see a doctor. If you’re diagnosed with an allergy you’re unfortunately joining the 10 percent of the US that has allergies to their beloved pet. Symptoms to pet allergies come in the form of sneezing, itchy watery eyes, a runny nose, and itchy face and throat, to sometimes even more severe.
What is a pet allergen?
A pet allergen comes from your pet and it can be skin, or dander, or the fur of your pet. It really is anything coming from your pet, that can cause an allergic reaction. Depending on what kind of pet you have, a pet allergen can be a few different things, but if you’re having an allergic reaction to something from your pet, it’s a pet allergen.
Are there really hypoallergenic cats and dogs that do not cause allergic reactions?
Yes, there are definitely dog and cat breeds that are hypoallergenic, that will definitely cause less allergy problems than others. The unfortunately, hypoallergenic doesn’t mean allergen free, it just means they produce less allergens. For example, a dog with short fur is less likely to shed on the carpet and on furniture then those with long fur. Short fur pets do not collect as much allergens on them as well, therefore distributing less dander throughout the house.
In addition, some dogs shed their fur every five to six months, while others, such as a poodle and Havanese do not shed at all. There are also dog breeds like Portuguese Water Dogs. Some cats that have been breed to be hypoallergenic regardless of their hair length, but is important to take into consideration that some breeds drool and lick themselves more than others, leaving a trail of dried saliva and dander. In short, if you can love a short haired pet just as much as loving a long haired one, but without the allergens that cause you misery along the way.
Can I be in the same space with my cat and dog?
It is advised that cats and dogs remain outdoors as much as possible if you have allergies to them. I think eventually you’d like to bring them indoors, so it’s best to make sure you’re consistently cleaning and vacuuming to keep the pet allergens under control.
How do I rid my home of pet dander and other pet allergens?
Cleaning your pet’s favorite spot is a good place to start. If you have trouble with sneezing a lot while you’re cleaning, it might help to wear a mask to cover your face. I make it a rule to always keep my pets out of my bedroom to reduce my allergic reactions while sleeping. It’s also best to use a HEPA filter in the bedroom to reduce the exposure of pet dander. It’s a good idea to be sweeping your rugs and furniture often ideally with a pet vacuum. Other ways to clear the air of an animals residuals include:
Dusting your house often
Washing your pet on a weekly basis
Keep a fresh flea collar on your pet to reduce the risk of in-home fleas
Wash the animals bedding in hot water at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
What other animals besides cats and dogs cause similar allergic reactions?
Basically, if the animals have fur and skin, they can cause allergies and allergic reactions. Besides dogs and cats, other mammals to look out for are guinea pigs, rabbits, and birds. If you love these types of pets, there is no avoiding the fact that these hairy animals shed their hair regularly, lick themselves, and deposit dried saliva as a result.
What pets should I think about getting that are safe from spreading allergens?
Reptiles and fish do not cause allergic reactions because they have scales instead of hair.