Allergic to your pet?

July 17th, 2017

It can be a tough life for a person who loves dogs but is also allergic to them. There are thousands of people who suffer from these types of allergies; however there are now ways to treat these symptoms without having to re-home your lovable friend. Petplan will give a rundown of causes, symptoms, and treatment of dog allergies.

Causes

Pet allergies can strike anyone at any time in their life, although it is more common in people who are already mildly to moderately allergic to pollen or mold. It is also genetically linked, therefore if your parents are allergic there is a strong chance you will be too.

The most common misconception with being allergic to pets is that you’re allergic to the dog or cat hair. It is actually not the hair that you are allergic too; it is more commonly the dander which is the dead skin that is continually shed; the saliva; or the urine.

Symptoms

People who already have other allergies will realise the signs when around pets. These can include:

  • Coughing and wheezing
  • Red, itchy eyes
  • Runny, itchy, stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy skin or rashes

Often these symptoms will not be noticed and can be mistaken for a common cold, however if you’re separated from the pet for several days or weeks, the symptoms should disappear and only reappear when in contact with the pet again.

Treatment

If you or someone you know is allergic to pets, there are a few simple tips you can use in order to make it more comfortable for them to be around the dog/cat.

  • Keep the animal out of bedrooms as we tend to spend the most time their when at home
  • Close off ducts to the bedrooms and use electric heaters or other devices – alternatively you can cover the vents with cheesecloth
  • Clean and vacuum regularly
  • Bathe your pet weekly
  • Do not allow your pet on the furniture
  • If travelling in the car, use a seat cover for your pet or a blanket
  • Brush your pet daily
  • You can use an allergy-reducing spray for their coat
  • Wash your hands after interacting with your pet or their items

Hypoallergenic breeds

Although there are no specific breeds that are completely hypoallergenic, some breeds do pose less of a threat to people who are allergic to dogs. These breeds include:

  • Bichon Frise
  • Irish Water Spaniel
  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Maltese
  • Poodle
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Schnauzer
  • Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
  • Kerry Blue Terrier

We realise that for some people who are allergic, not owning a dog is simply not an option. Pets are an important part of our lives and it is near impossible to avoid contact. Therefore by adopting some management strategies we can control these allergies and make it more enjoyable for us on a daily basis.

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