Approximately 10% of the United States population suffers from a pet allergy! Even with that statistic, 6 out of 10 Americans are in contact with cats or dogs! If you have a beloved pet and are suffering from allergies, don’t worry! Meet with your doctor to discuss treatment options.
We’ll talk about some common myths, some of the differences between cat and dog allergies, and treatment options.
Myths About Pet Allergies
1. The allergy is because of the animal fur.
False! It’s not the pet fur that contains allergens, it’s the proteins in the pet dander, saliva, or urine. The pet dander can collect in the fur to cause an allergic reaction. Pet fur can even harbor dust or pollens that can cause allergy flare-ups.
2. You can only be allergic to dogs and cats.
False! Most mammals can cause allergies because of their proteins. Birds, horses, even guinea pigs can trigger allergies!
3. You can get a hypoallergenic pet.
False…True! There are some breeds of dogs that may produce less allergens. However, there isn’t a true hypoallergenic dog. The same goes for cats. Even buying a hairless cat doesn’t mean you will be allergy-free. Remember, hypoallergenic does not mean non-allergenic!
Unfortunately, cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies! Allergic reactions to cats can vary in severity. From feeling uncomfortable with itchy eyes and a runny nose to a hives and wheezing. Note your symptoms and talk with your doctor if they are affecting your quality of life.
- hives or rash
- red, itchy eyes
- runny nose/sneezing
This is probably obvious, but the best way to help your cat allergy is to avoid exposure to cats. However, if you want to own a cat or have a family member/friend with cat, there are options for you.
Your doctor will probably recommend taking an antihistamine, a decongestant, or perscribe a steroid spray. It’s something you should discuss with your doctor. A more long lasting and permanent solution may be immunotherapy or allergy shots.
Allergy Sufferers and Kitty Lovers
All doctors understand that you love your pet and will help you keep your kitty!
Dog allergies are less common than cat allergies and, similar to cats, dog allergy reactions vary from person to person. Some dog allergy sufferers have a rash reaction to a dog’s saliva while some may experience itchy eyes and a running nose in the presence of a dog.
There is a myth that short hair dogs were better for allergy sufferers and, unfortunately, that’s not completely true. Allergy sufferers are allergic to the proteins not the hair. However, a long haired dog who sheds may have proteins collected in the hair and spread the proteins around.
- itchy, red eyes
- runny nose/wheezing
Similar with cats, your doctor will probably recommend antihistamines, decongestants, or prescription steroid.
If you have a long haired dog or a dog prone to shedding, excellent grooming will help. Brushing your dog frequent vacuuming isn’t a cure for your allergies, but it will help contain some of the proteins.
Allergy Sufferers and Doggie Lovers
Again, your doctor will understand your love for your pooch and help you find a way to treat your symptoms!
Please contact us if you’d like more information