Pet Allergies. How To Deal.
It’s that time of year again… allergy season. It is estimated that 60 million people in the United States suffer from asthma and allergies. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America,15-30 percent of those people have allergic reactions to dogs and cats. So, what causes pet allergies, and what we can do about it?
Some of the symptoms associated with pet allergies may include sneezing and runny nose, coughing and wheezing, watery, red or itchy eyes, skin rash or hives. According to the College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology, these symptoms can occur within minutes, hours, or even months after exposure. What exactly triggers these allergy symptoms? Pet dander is the main cause for an allergic reaction. Dander is dead skin that is shed and collects on the pet’s fur and other surfaces in your home. The saliva and urine of a pet may also cause an allergic reaction to occur.
Many dog and cat lovers who suffer from allergies prefer hypoallergenic breeds. While there is no dog or cat that is 100% hypoallergenic, these breeds typically have a non-shedding coat which produces less dander. Some hypoallergenic breeds include: Bichon Frise, Chinese Crested, Coton de Tulear, Maltese, Poodle, and the Portuguese Water Dog.
Here are some tips to help keep allergens in your home at a minimum:
- Wash dog/cat beds often.
- Maintain your pets grooming (bathing, trimming, brushing).
- Avoid pets sleeping in your bed (I know this is difficult!).
- Remove carpeting and heavy drapery or steam clean them frequently.
- Change the filter in your HVAC system on a regular basis.
- Wash your hands.
Some may think they are allergic to their pets, but you have to remember dust and pollen can get trapped in your pets fur which may be the reason for an allergic reaction. It is always best to consult with a doctor on the best plan to curb your allergy symptoms. Unfortunately, there is no cure for those “muddling through allergies.” Happy Spring!