Being allergic to pets may be more common than you think, especially among people who have other allergies or are asthmatic. Before you think you may have to re-home your pet or not get one in the first place, let Petplan take you through everything you need to know about being allergic to pets and how you can beat the allergy…
The reason people are allergic to their pets is due to the pets dander – dry skin particles that are shed and are pretty much found wherever that pet has been. Not only is dander a main contributor to these allergies, urine and saliva can also create a reaction in someone.
It is a common misconception that people are allergic to the pet’s hair – which is not the case. This is mainly because hair can collect dander, urine and saliva and as the hair is what you’re in contact with most, can lead to allergic reactions.
As many people who are allergic to pets already sow some allergies to other things, you should notice some symptoms straight away. Theses can include:
- Itchy skin or rashes
- Red, itchy eyes
- Runny, itchy, stuff nose
If your allergen levels are low or the sensitivity towards pets is minor, these symptoms may not show up until a couple of days later. However, severe allergen levels can show up immediately after interacting with a pet. As these symptoms can be mistaken for a common cold, it is important to keep an eye on your interactions with pet to see if there is a correlation between that time and these symptoms – even if you do notice them a couple of days later.
All hope is not lost for those who are allergic to pets. There is not an overall treatment that will eliminate the symptoms, however there’s is a few small tips and tricks that you can implement that will reduce your contact with the allergens.
- Brush your pet daily to remove dander
- Don’t allow the pet in bedrooms or on couches as this is where you spend most of your time at home
- If you have ducted heating or cooling leading to your bedroom, cover them with cheesecloth which will stop the dander coming through in to your bedroom
- Clean and vacuum the house regularly to reduce the risk of allergens
- Wash your pet weekly or as often as possible
- Wash your hands after interacting with your pet
If you’re still getting allergic reactions around your pet, there are allergy reducing sprays that can be used on their coat which will lessen the symptoms. On the other hand, you can try to avoid all contact with dogs and cats – although we know hoe impossible this may be.
People who are allergic to pets may be more sensitive around some breeds than others. Although non-allergic cats or dogs don’t exist, there are some breeds that pose less of a threat to allergy sufferers which include:
- Bichon Frise
- Irish Water Spaniel
- Bedlington Terrier
- Portugese Water Dog
- Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
- Kerry Blue Terrier
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Shih Tzu
- Italian Greyhound
Many people who suffer from pet allergies can’t resist having a cat or dog around. Pets are a companion, a friend, and a huge part of most people’s families so it can be hard to try and avoid contact even if you wanted to. By following some of Petplan’s above tips, you may be able to lead an allergy free life whilst still enjoying the love and affection of a pet.