Pet allergies are relatively common, causing symptoms like sneezing, sore throats, watery and itchy eyes and coughing.
The question is, how do you treat a pet allergy?
What causes pet allergies?
Pet allergies are commonly caused by animals with fur. The allergy itself is a reaction to pet dander, which is the dead skin cells that a pet drop. Some people are also allergic to animal urine, saliva and sweat.
Allergies are caused when your body comes into contact with a foreign substance that it (incorrectly) considers being a threat. It creates antibodies as a way to combat the threat, and it’s these antibodies that cause the symptoms of allergies.
Some breeds of animals are less likely to provoke an allergic reaction than others. However, there are no animals that are truly ‘hypoallergenic.’ Some studies have shown that exposure to animals early in life can help to lessen the risk of developing pet allergies. It’s quite common to develop a pet allergy if things like asthma run in your family.
As an allergic reaction causes the symptoms of pet allergies, the way that this is often treated is to dampen the immune response.
Antihistamines are often used as a treatment for allergies, as they can stop the immune response from becoming quite so severed. The only issue is that antihistamines can often also cause side effects like drowsiness, and they can take a while to take effect.
Some people prefer to directly treat the area of the body where they are experiencing the reaction. For example, if you were experiencing itchy, watery eyes as a result of your allergy, then it can be effective to use a quality eye drop brand like Pataday that has been specifically formulated to help with itchy allergy eye relief.
Addressing the cause
The most effective way to prevent pet allergies is to address the cause. Don’t worry, you don’t have to get rid of your beloved furry friend!
Getting rid of the pet dander in your home is a great way to reduce allergic reactions. Try the following steps to reduce dander in your home:
- Ensure that your pet has a healthy diet. Excessive shedding of skin and hair can be a sign of poor nutrition. Ensuring that your pet is eating a well-rounded diet can stop shedding, and therefore reduce the amount of dander in your home. Often, commercial pet food isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Speak to your vet about the best food to feed your pet.
- Use an air purifier. Using an air purifier is an effective way of removing pet dander from the air, and therefore reducing the chances of you breathing it in.
- Regularly cleaning your home, paying particular attention to soft furnishings, will remove a huge amount of dander.
- Brush your pet. Brushing your pet (outside if possible) will remove loose hair and reduce the amount that gets dropped indoors.
It’s also a good idea not to let your pet sleep on your bed if you think you have an allergy, as this means that you will spend all night breathing in something that is causing an allergic reaction.