Reducing the Effects of Pet Allergies

One of the greatest mistaken assumptions with respect to pet allergies is that they are caused by pet fur. You have probably heard that longhaired pets will cause more allergies than shorthaired pets. Although this seems to make sense, specialists say this isn’t true.

You have probably witnessed a cat or dog grooming its coat. Pets lick their fur to remove dirt, hair, and dead skin. Your pet’s hide is really not the cause of allergens; rather it is dog and cat dander that causes the main problems.

Pet dander is compromised of small particles of dead skin. This dead skin is the real cause of allergies. All pets cause dander.

Side effects of Pet Allergies

Individuals that suffer from pet allergies have a sensitive immune system. Basically, their bodies overact when they come into contact with substances that are normally harmless like pet dander and dust.

The immune system sees pet dander as a potential threat (similar to how it sees bacteria, germ, disease, or virus) and reacts by attacking the allergen.

Side effects of pet allergies:

The side effects of pet allergens are similar to allergies produced from tree pollen, dust, and mold. Below is a list of common side effects from pet allergies.

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Itchy and watery eyes
  • Congestion
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty breathing particularly when the sensitivity is connected to asthma
  • Hives

The Most Effective Ways to Treat Pet Allergies

There is no complete medical remedy for cat allergies, but immunotherapy may improve your resistance. Immunotherapy includes getting shots or drops under your tongue once a week for years.

Staying away from the source of the allergen is obviously the best option, however when that is impractical, the following solutions may help:

  • Using an air purifier for pet dander. An air purifier with a HEPA air filter can eliminate 99.97% of dander in the air. This method can be very effective at reducing pet allergies in your home.
  • Frequently bathe, brush and feed your pets. A pet’s diet can be huge for reducing the amount of dander given off from their skin. The healthier they skin, the less dander they produce.

Another common way to remediate cat allergies is by using medicine. Below are some of the most common medicines used for pet allergies:

  • Antihistamines, for example, diphenhydramine (Benadryl), loratadine (Claritin) or cetirizine (Zyrtec)
  • Corticosteroid nasal spray, for example, fluticasone (Flonase) or mometasone (Nasonex)
  • Leukotriene inhibitors, for example, montelukast (Singulair)

 

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