What is Pet Allergy?

Many people keep pets for company, security and pleasure. But surprisingly approximately fifteen percent of the population has an allergy to dogs or cats. In spite of this, pet owners continue to keep pets out of love and affection. It takes about two years to develop a pet allergy. Only children can outgrow pet allergies. So, the key to keep pets safely without tormenting yourself lies in proper understanding of pet allergy and taking steps to avoid it. The following article discusses everything about pet allergy.

Causes of pet allergy

Allergic reaction to pets occurs when the immune system reacts to pet allergens. There are various pet allergens that cause pet allergic symptoms.
pet allergy
Dogs and especially cats are the main source of pet allergy. Even hairless breeds can cause an allergy. However, dogs like Poodles and other breeds with continuous coat growth are less likely to cause allergies. The main source of allergy is in the animal dander. Certain glands in the skin secrete allergy-causing proteins termed allergens that are present in the animal’s coat, saliva and urine. They are small and easily spread through the air. When they come in contact with a person allergic to animal dander, they cause an allergic reaction. Dander in the animal’s saliva and urine dries; it spreads through the air-causing allergy. Bird droppings and feathers are a source of bacteria and fungi. Waste matter from pets like hamsters and mice also causes allergies. Cockroaches in your home can also cause an allergy. Pet owners can bring dander with them to public places like schools and workplaces. Pet allergy is rarely caused by animals which do not have fur, such as fish and reptiles.

Symptoms of pet allergy

The allergy manifests itself in the form of various symptoms like:

  • Sniffing
  • Runny nose
  • Swelling in the nose or eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Asthma like symptoms
  • Skin reddening
  • Post nasal drip
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Frequent bronchitis

Sometimes the allergy can extend for almost six months, causing great suffering for the individual.

Treatment for pet allergy

The most effective treatment for pet allergy is to avoid exposure to animals. The medications are prescribed according to the symptoms the pet allergen causes.

  • For mild allergies, anti-histamines and nasal sprays work well.
  • Moderate cases require corticosteroids.
  • In case of asthmatic symptoms, you can use asthmatic medication to get relief.

Immunotherapy is the best way to greatly reduce pet allergy. In this, the person undergoes desensitization to pet allergens. The doctor introduces small doses of allergens in to the skin. This causes the body to produce anti bodies that will prevent an allergic response upon future exposure. This continues at the rate of one dose a week for some weeks or some months depending on the severity of the allergy. Gradually one can reduce this to a single injection a month

Prevention of pet allergy

When your pet is the cause for allergy, it is better to stay away from the pet’s surroundings for a few weeks and see if the symptoms improve. The best way is to avoid pet at home. But, if the family is resisting to remove the pet, you can follow the below measures to reduce exposure to allergen.

  • Clean the pet’s bedding thoroughly on a weekly basis to clear it of animal dander and shed hair.
  • Wash the place where your pet sits regularly with mild bleach.
  • Get HEPA filters for your home that will trap allergens.
  • Keep an allergy free room for yourself where the pet cannot enter under any circumstance
  • Put dust free covers on all your bedding, mattress, pillows, and comforters. Wash them regularly to keep them free of allergens.
  • Keep light furnishings and curtains that will not trap dust and dander and clean them regularly. Wear a mask while grooming the pet.
  • Do not permit pets on the bed or on furniture and avoid physical contact with them.
  • Avoid carpets that will trap animal hair and skin flakes. Use washable rugs instead.
  • Vacuum your house at least twice a week with a vacuum that has a special filter to trap allergens.
  • Bathe your pet weekly with a good shampoo
  • While grooming your pet, always wear protective mask and gloves
  • Litter boxes should not be kept near the air vents in home

You don’t need to worry about your kids and don’t need to separate them from their loving pets. There are several ways to deal with the pet allergies that can minimize the chances of being affected by pet allergies. Here are the top 3 tips to deal with pet allergies.

Top Three Tips To Deal With Pet Allergies

1. To Which Pets You Are Allergic?
The first and foremost thing you need to do is determining the fact that whether your kid is really allergetic to the pets. The easiest way to do that is by sending your kid to your relative’s house where there is no pet.

If you can see any significant change or improvement then you can be certain that your kid is suffering from pet allergies. Accordingly you can opt for the proper treatment. There are several kinds of allergy tests available through which you can verify the actual allergen (substance responsible for allergies).

2. Create An Allergy Free Home
In many ways, you can reduce the effect of allergens and provide relief to the sufferers.
• You can have a smooth or hardwood surface for your flooring. Try to avoid using carpets because it holds more particles that generally cause allergies. Instead you need to go for smooth surface floors because it s easy to clean.
• If you have pets then you need to use with leather furniture for the same reason as it was mentioned above. Leather holds lesser allergens than the fabrics do.
• Make a seat that is exclusively isolated from the pets, on which the allergy sufferers can sit.
• Make it sure that your pets don’t sleep on your bed or enter the room where your kids sleep. Make the sleeping area of your house as a pet-free zone.

3. Make Your Pet Hypo-Allergenic
There are some ways through which you can decrease the allergic effects of having pets at your home.
• You need to take a very good care of your pets. You can wash them with mild soap. This actually reduces the dander which is a major reason for pet allergies. This job needs to be done by someone who is not allergetic to pets.
• You need to get your kids hands and legs washed well after playing with a pet. Restrict them from touching their mouth and face with the unwashed hands.
• Never allow your pet to lick you and your kids because the saliva of the pets can contain the allergens.
• In case of severe allergies you need to go for proper medication and treatment if you don’t want your pets to be thrown out from your home.

This is all about pet allergy, the causes, symptoms, treatment, prevention and the tips to deal with the allergies.