If you're allergic to cats or dogs, you are not allergic to their fur, but to the dander (dead skin cells) found in their fur, and proteins found in their saliva or urine. Animal dander is the dead skin cells of animals and contains proteins that can trigger allergies in some people. These allergens can be transported to the skin or fur, where we touch dogs or cats most often, and cause uncomfortable pet allergy symptoms.
Some common symptoms of a pet allergy may include sneezing, itchy watery eyes, runny nose, and nasal congestion. Allergy testing by an allergist can verify whether you’re reacting to pet dander or have an allergy to another substance, such as pollen, dust mites, or mold.
Be aware of potential exposure to pets you may be allergic to. Ask ahead when visiting a friend's house so you can come prepared when allergy symptoms hit.
If you're an owner, try giving your pet a bath every week. This can significantly reduce the allergen count.
Keep the pet away from your bedroom and consider keeping your pet in certain areas of the house.
After touching a pet, keep your hands away from your eyes until you've had a chance to wash them.
Cats may cause more allergy problems than dogs simply because they tend to lick their fur or skin a lot, spreading the allergen onto their bodies.
Remember, even animals that don't shed can cause pet allergy symptoms. Fish, hermit crabs, iguanas, and snakes make good choices as a pet for allergy sufferers.Pet Allergy Symptom Relief