Dogs and cats are capable of creating a pet allergy

Looking to add a furry friend to your family? Dogs and cats can be excellent companions any time of year, but there are certain considerations for those who have pet allergies. Before deciding to bring them into the house, it’s important to know how those with pet allergies may respond and what could be done to help.

How do pet allergies happen?

Allergic reactions in general are a response from the immune system to foreign substances called allergens. For people who are allergic to dogs, cats, and other animals, the most common allergens for them are dander, urine, or saliva.

What are the symptoms of a pet allergy?

Pet allergy symptoms can include:

  • Sneezing
  • Itchy eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Coughing
  • Facial pressure or swelling

The severity of these symptoms mainly depend on how sensitive someone is to the allergens, ranging from mild to significant.

Are dogs or cats more likely to cause allergic reactions?

When considering which of the two animals to have as your pet – aside from maintenance and enjoyment preferences, one thing to note is that the size of the pet may make a difference in terms of how much dander is dispersed. Small dogs, for example might be more hypoallergic than large dogs based on the amount of fur they have.

Dr. Michael Falcone, a CEENTA ENT and allergy specialist from our University location, adds his professional and personal take on the two pet options. “Although I am admittedly more of a dog person, cats are more allergy stimulating than dogs.”

How can you reduce pet allergies at home?

To manage the frequency of pet allergies at home, you’ll have to reduce the amount of pet dander and allergens in your living space. That can include cleaning your bed and floors more frequently, using an air purifier with a proper HEPA filter, and cleaning your pet with a dander-reducing shampoo. You or whoever in your household is dealing with the allergic reactions can make certain rooms “allergy-free zones” to further create that distance.

How can you treat pet allergies?

Treating allergy symptoms can be a fairly straightforward process. Common treatment options include antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal sprays like Flonase. For a more personalized treatment experience, schedule your next allergy appointment with CEENTA. Our team of allergy specialists can test you for common pet and environmental allergens to determine the cause and provide immunotherapy options (shots, tablets, and sublingual drops) suitable for your lifestyle. Make an appointment with Dr. Falcone at our University office today if you’re ready to bring a furry companion into your home. 

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. New patients can make appointments online with our doctors in North and South Carolina. Current patients can also make appointments through myCEENTAchart with physicians they have already seen.


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