Pet Allergies

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Pet Allergy
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Love Your Pet, Not Your Allergies
Pet allergies refer to someone who is experiencing a medical reaction to the proteins found in the saliva or skin cells from household pets, such as cats or dogs. An allergic reaction is typically triggered from being exposed to the dead flakes from the animal hair, or dandruff. Try thinking of dander like glaze on a doughnut. Dandruff is like the glaze on the doughnut. When it breaks off, it falls as tiny flakes and lands all over the place. Once it is dried, it is easy for you to inhale the tiny flakes, or transfer it from your hands to your eyes or nose.

There are several symptoms that people with household pets may experience, and they can range from mild to severe, in which a doctor should be notified immediately. Some of the symptoms can be:

  • – itchy or watery eyes
  • – sneezing
  • – post nasal drip
  • – difficulty breathing
  • – chest tightness
  • – hives

If these symptoms continue in their severity, making it difficult to breathe, you should seek emergency attention.

For many of us, we consider our pets a member of the family, and giving away your pet is not an option. There are several home remedies that can alleviate some of the symptoms, such as:

  • – regularly bathing your cat or dog
  • – a saline sinus rinse
  • – replacing the carpet with hardwood or laminate flooring
  • – vacuuming or steam cleaning carpet regularly

By bathing your pet on a regular basis, you can reduce the amount of dander that is released from their fur. Pets that have a tendency to shed more will require more bathing. Most cats do not enjoy the water, but if they are introduced to a warm bath as a kitten, they will be acquainted with the water and will tolerate bath time. If you are not able to remove old and dirty carpet, then regularly vacuuming with a HEPA filter can reduce the pet dander in the carpet. Also, steam cleaning the carpet will provide a deep cleanse that removes any extra dirt and bacteria that a vacuum cannot reach.

For those who may have a more severe allergy to household pets, a doctor may need to prescribe a steroid or antihistamine to improve your tolerance to the allergens. Some common medications that are used are:

  • – Flonase
  • – Zyrtec
  • – Claritan

As you continue to use allergy medications, your body will become immune to the allergens produced by your pet. It is not recommended to miss a dose, as that can trigger an allergy attack. Maintaining a schedule is the best way to guarantee relief.