Household Pets Allergy: How to Cope if You Are Allergic to Dogs and Cats

Allergies to household pets with fur are typical, particularly among individuals who have asthma and other allergies. In the United States, at least 10% of the population has pet allergies, and cats are the most typical culprits.1

What is the cause of pet allergies?

The work of the immune system is to locate foreign substances like bacteria and viruses and eliminate them. Typically, this response safeguards us from dangerous diseases. Individuals with pet allergies have an over-sensitive immune system. They can respond to inoffensive proteins in the pet’s dander, saliva or urine. The symptoms which lead are an allergic reaction. You see, the substances which cause allergic reactions are allergens.

Furthermore, pet allergens can gather on other surfaces and furniture. The allergens won’t lose their strength for a very long time. Often, the allergens might keep at high levels for a few months and cling to clothing, furniture, walls, and other surfaces.

You need to be aware that pet hair isn’t an allergen. It can gather saliva, urine or dander. It could also bring other allergens such as pollen and dust.

Dog and cat allergens are everywhere. These allergens are even in home and other areas which have never housed pets. That’s because people can bring pet allergens on their clothing. Furthermore, allergens could get into the air if an animal is groomed or pet. Pet allergens could also be stirred into the atmosphere wherein the allergens have settled. This could occur during vacuuming, dusting or other activities. When airborne, the particles could stay suspended within the air for a very long time.

What are the Common Symptoms of a Household Pet Allergy?

Dog and cat allergens could land on the membranes which line the nose and eyes. Reactions include itching and swelling of the membranes, red eyes and stuffy nose. A pet lick or scratch can cause your skin to become red. It’s typical to get itchy eyes after petting a pet then touching the eyes.

When allergen levels are minor, or sensitivity is low, symptoms might not show until after a few days of contact with the dogs or cat.

A lot of airborne particles is small to get into your lungs. For others, this exposure can cause extreme breathing issues. Highly sensitive individuals can start wheezing, coughing, and have shortness of breath in 15 to 30 minutes of breathing allergens. Often, those highly sensitive individuals experience an intense rash on the upper chest, neck or face.

According to a research in the Journal of the American Medical Association, kids raised in a home with more than 2 pets during their initial year of life might be less likely than kids raised in critter-free dwellings to establish allergies illnesses.2

How Does a Physician Diagnose a Pet Allergy?

Your physician will diagnose an allergy to pet based on your medical history, physical examination, test results, as well as symptoms. Your physician can utilize either a skin test or blood test to help in the diagnosis. Allergy testing will tell when there’s allergic sensitization to the pet.

A few individuals find it difficult to believe that they could be allergic to their household pets. The physician might tell you to stay out of your home where the dog or cat resides to know if your allergy symptoms go away. It doesn’t help to eliminate the cat or dog though. That’s because the allergen will still be there. Pet allergens remains within the home can cause allergy symptoms months after the pet is removed.

Ways to Prevent Allergic Reactions

Eliminating the pet from your home is often the ideal treatment. Nevertheless, if you still wish to keep your dog or cat, there might be some methods to lessen exposure.

  • Have someone without the allergy to brush your dog or cat outside to eliminate dander and clean the cage or litter box.
  • Washing the pet on a weekly basis might lessen airborne allergens. However, is of questionable value in lowering an individual’s symptoms.
  • Putting an air cleaner mixed with a certified allergy friends filter to your HVAC can aid eliminate pet allergens within the air. You can employ an air cleaner approximately 4 hours every day. Another kind of air cleaner which features an electrostatic filter will eliminate the size of pet allergens from the air. You need to bear in mind that no air filter or cleaner will eliminate allergens that are stuck to the surfaces.
  • Air conditioning and forced-air heating could spread allergens through your house. Make sure that you cover all your bedroom vents along with dense filtering material such as cheesecloth.
  • Change your clothes after long exposure with a dog or cat.
  • If you should have a carpet, choose one with a low pile and make sure that you steam clean it often. Better yet, employ throw rugs and rinse them in hot water.
  • Animal allergens are pasty. Therefore, you should eliminate the favorite furniture of your pet. Get rid of the woodwork, wall-to-wall carpet and the scrub the walls. You need to keep the surfaces in your home clean and orderly. Bare walls and floors are the best.

What is the Best Treatment for Pet Allergy?

The ideal treatment is to prevent contact with dogs or cats or the regions where they reside. You need to keep them out of your home as much as possible. When possible, try to prevent homes with pets which you’re allergic to. Staying away from them might offer you enough relief that you won’t require medicine.

So far, scientific backing for the assertion that any remedy can cure pet allergies is comparatively lacking. However, you will find a lot of natural alternatives which might offer some relief for your pet allergy symptoms.



1 WebMD.

2 Journal of the American Medical Association.