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Choosing the Right Pet When You Have Allergies

pet allergies

When you have allergies, finding the right pet can be a challenge. If you love fur-free animals such as lizards, turtles and fish, that’s great.

But, what if you’ve always wanted a dog or a cat? Read on to learn more about finding a pet with fur when you suffer from pet allergies.

The Bad News: There Are No Hypoallergenic Dogs Or Cats

There’s a myth circulating that some dogs and cats are hypoallergenic, meaning they won’t trigger allergic reactions. Sadly, that’s just not true.

San Diego veterinarian Jessica Vogelsang says, “The allergic reaction is triggered by the proteins in their saliva and skin, which of course all dogs and cats have.” If you want to avoid exposure to canine and feline skin and saliva, stick with a different animal.

The Good News: Not Every Furry Animal Triggers Allergies

Just because you were sneezing like crazy the last time you went to your friend who owns that Siamese doesn’t mean all Siamese cats, or all cats, will cause an allergic reaction.

Camille DeClementi, a veterinarian with the ASPCA, says, “It’s very individual which dogs or cats will set someone with pet allergies off—and one dog of a certain breed could cause a reaction when another one may not.” Dr. DeClementi recommends going to a shelter and spending time with a particular dog or cat to see whether it triggers an allergic reaction.

Tips to Reducing Allergen Exposure

If your heart is set on getting a cat or dog regardless of your allergies, there are some tips you can take to make allergic reactions less severe.

Invest in a HEPA filter for your home as well as a vacuum cleaner with HEPA technology, as those will best capture dust and dander. Also, consider replacing heavy drapes and carpets with blinds and hardwood or tile flooring. They’re easier to keep clean.

And if you’ve never been tested for allergies, it might not be a bad idea to determine whether the animal is making you sneeze, or if it’s the pollen or mold spores on its coat.

Houston Sinus & Allergy: Your Allergy Experts

Do you have an allergy to dogs and cats and want to learn how to manage it? Contact Houston Sinus & Allergy today.

At Houston Sinus & Allergy, we treat patients with every kind of allergy, and pet allergies are common, and completely treatable.

Dr. Nguyen has over ten years experience specializing in allergy treatments, and can assess your situation to provide you with the relief you seek.  Contact us for an assessment, so we can begin gradually desensitizing you to your pet allergies, making it possible to love your pet and keep him, too.

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