Finding out that you’re allergic to common household pets can cause you some difficulties in day-to-day life. After being around animals, do you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Runny nose
- Tightening of the chest, coughing, wheezing
- Watery, irritated or itchy eyes
- An itchy skin rash or hives
Allergies caused by pets can affect you wherever you are and even take you by surprise. You can experience symptoms at work, school, nursery or home. There doesn’t even need to be a cat or dog present at the time.
Cats produce several allergens that are found on their fur, skin and in their saliva. All varieties produce allergens and can cause an allergic reaction in some people. The more cats there are in a home, the higher the levels of allergens. Surprisingly, the fur length, gender and whether it stays inside or goes out have no effect on the allergen levels. For those with hay fever, a cat coming in from outdoors with dust and pollen in their fur can further exacerbate symptoms.
Symptoms can range from fairly mild to highly severe and be brought on within minutes of entering a property where a cat lives. Symptoms can include those listed above. The most effective measure is to avoid contact with cats. If you absolutely can’t bear to be parted form a cat already in your home, then here are some allergy management tips:
- Keep pets out of your bedroom especially and restrict your pet’s access to only a few rooms. Be aware though that allergens will still be present in rooms the cat does not enter.
- Don’t stroke, hug or kiss the cat. If you can’t resist, then wash your hands and face straight away with warm water and soap.
- Use a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner.
- Consider installing laminate flooring as allergens, dust and pet dander can linger in carpets. Laminate flooring is easier to wipe clean and more hygienic. For Laminate Flooring, visit https://www.woodfloorwarehouse.co.uk/laminate-flooring.html
Dogs produce various allergens as well and if you find you’re sneezing, wheezing or coughing after petting a dog or being in the vicinity of one, then you could be allergic. The allergens are found in their saliva, urine, hair and dander. Similar to cats, if a dog gathers pollen or dust in their coat, it can exacerbate existing allergies. Symptoms include sneezing, congestion, tightness in the chest, sinus pain, a skin rash and irritated eyes.
Sadly, there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog, despite what many breeders will have you believe. It is often said that some poodles, terriers and many other breeds are hypoallergenic but according to one study comparing homes with a so-called hypoallergenic dog and homes with other dogs, there was no difference in the levels of dust containing dog allergens.