Treatment To Pet Allergies

by catfood

Being a pet owner is never easy. While pets bring us joy and companionship on a daily basis, they also require training, veterinary care, time, love, attention, and even tolerance. When a pet owner is allergic to his or her pet, tolerance is extremely vital.


Approximately 15% of the population is allergic to dogs or cats, according to studies. One-third of Americans who are allergic to cats (about 2 million people) own at least one cat. In a study of 341 adults who were allergic to cats or dogs and were advised by their doctors to give up their pets, only one in every five did so. In addition, 122 of them received a new pet when their previous one died.

The benefits of pet companionship obviously outweigh the disadvantages of family pet allergies for many owners.

Living peacefully with an allergic companion animal involves a thorough understanding of the allergic condition and adherence to a few ground rules.


All cats and dogs are allergenic to people who are allergic to animals (cause allergies). Cats are more allergenic than dogs for allergic people, yet some people are more sensitive to dogs than cats. Contrary to popular misconception, there are no “non-allergenic” dog or cat breeds; even hairless breeds can cause severe allergic reactions.

Dogs with smooth, constantly growing hair

Poodles and Bichon Frises, for example, may be less troublesome to some people, though this could be due to more frequent cleaning and grooming. A specific breed of dog or cat may aggravate an allergy sufferer more than another animal of the same breed.

What causes irritability in pet-allergic humans? Allergens are minute allergy-inducing proteins that are released by glands in the animal’s skin and stay in the animal’s fur as well as float freely in the air. Allergens can be detected in the animal’s saliva and urine, and as the saliva dries on the fur, they become airborne. The severity of the allergic reaction varies by individual, ranging from mild sniffling and sneezing to life-threatening asthma, and may be exacerbated by concomitant allergies to other environmental irritants.


If your or a family member’s allergies are only bothersome but not life-threatening, consider the following treatment options:

  • Create a “allergy-free” zone in the house, preferably the bedroom, and strictly prohibit the pet from entering. Use a high-efficiency HEPA air cleaner in the bedroom (available at practically any home and garden store or bargain department store). Consider using impermeable mattress and pillow covers because allergens brought into the room on clothing and other items can accumulate in them.
  • Use HEPA air cleaners throughout the rest of the house and avoid dust-and-dander-attracting furnishings such as fabric curtains and blinds and carpeted floors. To remove dust and dander, wash items like couch covers and pillows, curtains, and pet beds on a frequent and thorough basis. Use a “microfilter” bag in the vacuum cleaner to trap all allergens.
  • Bathing your pet once a week can reduce hair allergies by up to 84%. Although there are products that claim to alleviate pet allergies when sprayed on the animal’s fur, research indicates that they are less effective than a weekly bath. Even cats can learn accustomed to bathing; for instructions on how to do so correctly, consult your veterinarian’s staff or a respected pet care book, and use whatever shampoo your veterinarian recommends.
  • Don’t assume that the family pet is the source of your allergies. Rather than assuming, contact your allergist to test you for allergies to pet dander. Keep in mind that allergies develop over time. Many allergy sufferers are sensitive to many allergens. If you are allergic to dust, pesticides, pollen, cigarette smoke, or cat dander, you must focus on all allergen sources, not just the pet allergy. For example, in the spring, when it is impossible to avoid pollen exposure, you may need to intensify your efforts to remove cat dander from your home and exercise caution when smoking.
  • Immunotherapy (allergy injections) can reduce but not eliminate symptoms. They work by gradually desensitizing the immune system to allergens found in dogs. Proteins that cause allergies are injected into the skin, causing the body to produce antibodies (protective proteins) that prevent the dog allergen from triggering a reaction. Patients are frequently given one dose per week for several weeks to months (depending on the severity of the allergy) until they can tolerate one injection per month.
  • Symptomatic treatments for pet allergies include steroidal and antihistamine nasal sprays, as well as antihistamine pills. Asthma medications, sprays, and inhalers are readily available. Finding an allergist who understands your wish to live with your pet is crucial. An allergic person is most likely to be able to live with family pets with a combination of interventions, including medical control of symptoms, good housekeeping skills, and immunotherapy.

Of If you do not already have a pet and are thinking about obtaining one, and you are allergic to them, you should carefully consider whether you can live with the allergy before bringing a new pet home. Except for toddlers, who can overcome allergies, few allergy patients grow accustomed to allergic pets. Too many allergic owners get house pets without contemplating the difficulties of living with them. And all too often, they end up relinquishing pets, which is a terrible decision for the owner and potentially lethal for your pet.

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