Pet Allergies FAQ

Common Questions about Pet Allergies

Q. What is a pet allergy?

A. A pet allergy is an allergic reaction to a pets dander and/or saliva. Over 10 percent of the nation are allergic to their pet. Symptoms to pet allergies come in the form of sneezing, itchy watery eyes, a runny nose, and itchy face and throat

Q. Are there cats and dogs that do not cause allergic reactions?

A. There is no such thing as a non-allergenic cat or dog, but there are some that cause less harm than others. For example, a dog with short hair is less likely to shed on the carpet and on furniture then those with long hair. Short haired pets do not collect as much allergens on them as well, therefore distributing less dander throughout the house. In addition, some cats and dogs shed their fur every five to six months, while others, such as a poodle or a and havanese do not shed at all. Take into consideration that some breeds also drool and lick themselves more than others, leaving a trail of dried saliva and dander in their mist; In summary, 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.

Q. Can I cohabit along with my cat and dog?

A. It is advised that cats and dogs remain outdoors if you are allergic to them, otherwise you take the chance of developing allergies from their dander and saliva.

Q. How do I rid my home of pet dander and other pet allergens?

A.Thoroughly clean the animal’s resting area while wearing a mask. Use a HEPA filter in the bedroom to reduce the exposure of pet dander while you sleep, and shampoo the rugs and furniture often. 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.

Q. What other animals besides cats and dogs cause similar allergic reactions?

A. Other mammals including guinea pigs, rabbits, birds, and other small rodents. Basically, it is the animals hair that causes the allergic reactions. If you love these types of animals, there is no avoiding the fact that these hairy animals shed their hair regularly, Lick themselves, and deposit dried saliva as a result.

Q. What pets should I think about getting that are safe from spreading allergens?

A. Reptiles and fish do not cause allergic reactions because they have scales instead of hair.

Q. Is there a medication I can take to block my allergic symptoms to my cat?

A. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University recently announced that Zaflirlukast is a drug that significantly reduces the symptoms associated with cat and other pet allergies. Available only in prescription form, side effects include diarrhea, mouth dryness, and nausea.