Indoor allergy, Scientific article

Pet allergy in the US

What is a pet allergy?

It is a common misconception that only pet fur causes pet allergies. What actually triggers allergic responses are the proteins in a petā€™s fur, dander, saliva, or urine

Common pet allergy symptoms include:

  • SneezingĀ 
  • A runny or blocked noseĀ 
  • Wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breathĀ 
  • Watery, itchy, and red eyesĀ 
  • Skin rashes or hivesĀ 

CatĀ and dogĀ allergy

cat and dog allergy
All catsĀ and dogsĀ produce multiple allergy-triggering proteins. The moreĀ petsĀ live in one home, the higher the level of allergens will be inĀ thatĀ household.Ā Ā 

The following characteristics do not have any influence on cat level allergens: the length of a catā€™s hair, its sex or whether it is an indoor or outdoor cat. None of these features have any impact on the cat allergen level in a household.Ā Ā 

Unfortunately, there is no scientific evidence supporting the claim that there are hypoallergenic cat breeds that do not cause any allergic reaction.Ā Like cats, dogs also produce multiple different proteins that can trigger allergies. Dog fur, dander, saliva, and urine contain these allergens.

Some breeds, such as poodles and Portuguese water dogs, have the reputation to be hypoallergenic, but like it is with cats, there are also no trulyĀ hypoallergenic dog breeds.Ā 

For dogs, sex might play a role for triggering allergic reactions, however. ResearchĀ suggests that people who are allergic to the specific dog proteinĀ Can f 5Ā can potentially own a female or neutered dog without problems, becauseĀ Can f 5Ā is produced in a male dogsā€™ prostate gland.Ā Dogs produce six different allergic proteins:Ā Can f 1Ā toĀ Can f 6. About 30% of dog allergy sufferers specifically only react toĀ Can f 5.Ā Ā 

Itā€™s not always a pet allergy

In some cases, people experiencing allergy symptoms around the house naturally suspect their pet to be the cause. However, that is not always the case, as both cats and dogs ā€œcollectā€ other allergenic substances such as pollen, mold, or spores in their fur. The more time a pet spends outside, the more allergenic substances it collects and subsequently carries indoors.Ā Ā 

Pet owners suffering from a pollen allergy might experience allergic rhinitis symptoms indoors when their pet is close and think that it might be the culprit. In reality, the pollen collected in the fur is causing the allergic reactions, not the animal protein itself.Ā Ā 

AĀ comprehensive allergy test such asĀ the 7DROPS ALL Allergy TestĀ canĀ determine what substances an individual reacts to. All relevant animal allergens are screened for, such as all six dog allergenic dog proteins, includingĀ Can f 5.

Management & treatment

Experts suggest for allergy patients to limit the exposure to allergens they are sensitive to as much as possible. There is no reason for pet owners to immediately despair after receiving a diagnosis for pet allergy, however. If you have a pet at home, you can still take several preventive measures to limit your exposure to the allergen and alleviate symptoms without having to rehome your furry friend:Ā 

Limit exposure

An important step in avoiding pet allergens is keeping your pet out of your bedroom. A person spends around a third of every day in the bedroom ā€“ making it a pet allergen free zone can improve allergy symptoms tremendously.Ā 
If possible, pets should be regularly brushed outside by a non-allergic person to remove some of the allergens.Ā 
Vacuum and clean surfaces regularly and consider removing rugs and carpets in which pet dander can get stuck in easily.Ā 
If your house is equipped with air-conditioning or air-cleaning unit, make sure it is equipped with a HEPA-filter removing allergenic particles from the air

Pet allergy medication

Allergic reactions to pet allergens usually include symptoms of allergic rhinitis, such as sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, and a runny or blocked nose. Prescription medication such as antihistamines, nasal corticosteroid sprays, or decongestants help to alleviate symptoms.


For some pet hair allergy sufferers,Ā immunotherapyĀ can be a long-term solution. Consult your allergist about the possibility of receiving allergy shots.Ā ImmunotherapyĀ is a time-consuming method, however: it takes about 3 to 5 years to desensitize a patient, and injections need to be administered every 2 to 4 weeks.Ā 

Sources:Ā,Ā,Ā healthline.comĀ 



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