woman sneezing next to dogAre you one of 161 million Americans with a cat or dog?* Although you may love Fluffy, your allergy to him may be making you feel quite ill. A pet allergy is defined as an allergic reaction to proteins on the animal’s skin cells, saliva, or urine. This definition applies not only to cats and dogs, but other household pets like rabbits, hamsters, birds, etc.

If you thought that simply not touching your animal would be an answer to your allergy problem, think again. Pet dander can be found everywhere in the home including your upholstered furniture, carpet, beds, air vents, your clothes, and even in the surrounding air. Animal hair easily collects pollen and mold spores from the outdoors and bring them inside the home, giving you a double allergy whammy that is difficult to escape.

What do pet allergy symptoms look like?

An allergic reaction to your pets and other animals can be experienced as allergic rhinitis to asthma symptoms. Rhinitis symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes and throat, coughing, and wheezing. The best way to confirm a pet allergy is to take an allergy test with an allergist or immunologist. After a proper diagnosis, you can work on creating a plan of action to manage your symptoms.

Managing pet allergy symptoms

Over-the-counter antihistamines have proven to help pet owners with allergies to manage their symptoms. However antihistamines are a short-term solution. Allergy shots have proven to be a more effective long-term solution to pet allergies.

Having a pet allergy doesn’t mean you have to find a new home for Fluffy. Other ways to decrease pet allergy symptoms can include the following:

  • Try to limit hugging your pet
  • Keep pets out of your bedroom and off upholstered furniture
  • Have someone else who does not have allergies brush the pet outdoors on a regular basis
  • Purchase a double or micro-filter bag for your vacuum to reduce the amount of allergens that goes back into the air
  • Remove carpets and rugs that attract pet dander

If you do decide to find a new home for your pet, it can take up to six months or more before the pet dander is removed from your home.

* From the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. AAAAI is dedicated to the advancement of the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma, and immunology for optimal patient care. 


About RAMC: Located in Redondo Beach, CA. Riviera Allergy Medical Center (RAMC) provides a medical facility for a wide range of allergy and asthma related conditions, from nasal allergies and hay fever to skin allergy conditions and scalp eczema. If you or your children are in search of seasonal allergy relief, skin allergy treatment, sinus problems or headaches, or have shown signs of an ibuprofen allergy, you are encouraged to contact the team at RAMC. The office also may be contacted by phone at 310-792-9050.  Visit the site at http://RivieraAllergy.com

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To schedule an appointment, please call our office at 310.792.9050 or use our online Request an Appointment form. For additional information on any condition, treatment or procedure, please visit our Health Education Library.

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