When pets cause allergies

Fact Checked

It is a known fact that furry animals are considered as the most common and potential cause of allergies. Nevertheless, the fur is not usually the only animal allergen. Even the short-haired, non-shedding animals leave behind a trail of saliva and dander. Cats are usually allergenic than dogs. Even though certain dog breeds are considered less allergenic than others, studies do not support this claim. The comparison between dogs also reveals varying differences in the levels of allergen production between individual dogs of the same breed. Fish, reptiles and amphibians do not generally cause allergies. When allergies strike, you have to be prepared with measures to ease the symptoms. To learn to recognize and manage the symptoms of an allergic reaction to pets, enroll in a first aid course today.

Starting adjustments

For those who have a family member who is allergic to a pet but deeply attached, the act of finding a new house for the pet can be difficult to accept. Many usually prefer to keep the animal and fight the allergy symptoms. If the individual could not part with the pet, it should be out of the bedroom and regularly dust, sweep and vacuum.

Pet allergies
Exposure to pets can trigger wheezing and sneezing. Some individuals are allergic to animals while some with asthma have pet allergies.

Another solution is to keep the dog or pet permanently outdoors with proper shelter. Weekly bathing using tepid water can also lower the potential allergens including animals that do not go outdoors, but doing this regularly and consistently is not practical. Long after the animal has left the house, the allergens can persist due to the dander and hair left behind.

Considerations before getting a new pet

It is not wise to bring a furry pet home if one of the family members has allergies. Infants and young children in the house also face a high risk of developing allergies. It is best to wait for a few years until there are no issues and the allergy tests are clear. The child can be exposed to pet a few times before bringing the pet home, just to check if there are any allergy symptoms that might develop.

A household pet might be unfairly blamed for triggering allergies. Do not immediately get rid of your pet unless a child has been tested and the results suggest that the child is highly sensitive.

Occasionally, the symptoms that seem to be caused by an animal might be due to other allergies such as mold or pollen. This happens when a pet spends some time outdoors and returns inside the house with pollen or mold spores on the fur.

How to handle pet allergies

Individuals with allergies must be careful in deciding the type of pet to bring home. There are important considerations to bear in mind when handling pet allergies.

Exposure to pets can trigger wheezing and sneezing. Some individuals are allergic to animals while some with asthma have pet allergies. The ideal types of pets for those who have allergies are pets that do not have fur or hair, shed dander or generate excrement that triggers allergies. Take note that tropical fish are ideal but large-sized aquariums can add humidity in a room which results to an increase in mold and house dust mites. Other hypoallergenic pets include turtles and reptiles but remember that turtles can spread salmonella.

Allergy shots or immunotherapy might be required for dog or cat allergies, especially when the pet cannot be avoided. This therapy is given at least three years and can reduce the symptoms of asthma and allergy. It is not recommended as a routine treatment for pet allergy among children though. Avoidance of the pet or elimination is the preferred approach.

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