FAQs on Pet or Animal Allergy:

What is Pet Allergy?

A pet allergy is an allergic reaction to proteins found in animal’s skin, hair, fur, dander, saliva, sweat and urine. The most common pet allergies are from cats, dogs, horses and rodents.

Common Symptoms of a Pet Allergy

Below are some of the most common symptoms of an allergic reaction to a pet.

  • runny nose
  • sneezing
  • asthma
  • difficulty breathing
  • watery eyes
  • wheezing
  • post nasal drip
  • rash/itchy skin

Common Pet Allergy Triggers

Any animal can trigger a pet allergy, below are some of the common triggers of animal allergies.

  • cats
  • dogs
  • horses
  • rabbits
  • rodents

Diagnosis and Treatment

An allergist or healthcare provider can diagnose a pet allergy by symptoms being experienced, looking at the nasal passages and an examination of the nose. To be sure of a pet allergy, the doctor may also suggest allergy testing to determine what pet or animal causes an allergic reaction. An allergy test will also help the physician decide on the best form of treatment. Blood testing can also be performed to determine a pet allergy.

The best treatment for a pet allergy is avoidance. However, complete avoidance is next to impossible because people may carry pet allergens on clothing or in their homes. Avoiding the animal you are allergic to will lower the occurance of allergic reactions and make them less severe as time goes by. When a pet alllergy can’t be avoided, doctors may prescribe allergy medications like antihistamines, corticosteroids and/or decongestants to help combat the symptoms. Another option to treat pet allergies is immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is a long term treatment option for pet allergies. Talk to your doctor to determine if allergy shots are right for you.

If someone is experiencing anaphylaxis or a severe allergic reaction, call 911 immediately.