How to Handle a Pet Allergy

August 20, 2015 - 2 min read

We all love our furry friends, but if we suffer from allergies it may be hard to keep one in our homes. Here are some of the most common pet allergies in Australia and what exactly causes a reaction. We’ve also provided some helpful tips and remedies to deal with these allergies.

Dog Allergy

Cause: If you are allergic to dogs, you are most likely allergic to the danger (shed dead skin), saliva or their urine.
Symptoms: You may notice symptoms such as coughing or wheezing, red-itchy eyes, stuffy or runny nose and sneezing. People allergic to dog saliva often have severe skin reactions when licked by dogs.
Remedies: Brushing your pet daily and washing them weekly will reduce their dander, which may ease your symptoms. Keeping your home clean and well ventilated will also assist with keeping as much dander out of your home as possible. You may wish to see your physician to discuss possible immunotherapy or medications.
Breeds to consider: Low-shedding breeds such a poodles, bichon frise and Italian greyhounds are ideal for those with dog allergies.

Cat Allergy

Cause: Similar to a dog allergy, you are allergic to the protein in the cat’s danger, saliva or urine.
Symptoms: Swollen itchy eyes, rash and severe asthma attacks.
Remedies: Placing an air-purifier in your home will reduce airborne allergens in your home. When a reaction occurs, taking an antihistamine or decongestant spray may help alleviate the worst of the symptoms. Washing your cat in anti-dandruff shampoo weekly can also ease their dander production.
Breeds to consider: Breeds with short or no hair, such as Sphinx or British Shorthair will assist in keeping your cat allergy under control.

Horse Allergy

Cause: Although having an allergy to horses is not as common as dog or cat allergies, the proteins secreted onto horse’s skin can cause severe reactions.
Symptoms: A common symptom of a horse allergy is anaphylaxis that can produce hives, loss of consciousness, swelling of the tongue and rapid swelling of throat tissue. Other horse allergy symptoms include itchy skin, rapid heart rate and feeling dizzy or nauseous.
Remedies: Taking antihistamines before coming in contact with horses can keep symptoms at bay. If you have a severe allergy and are in regular contact with horses, your doctor may be able to try you on an allergy shot.
Breeds to consider: Curly haired horses such as The Curly’ are known to be hypoallergenic. If you are allergic to horses, try looking for a curly haired breeder and discuss your allergies with the breeder.

Bird Allergy

Cause: The good news is, you are not allergic to birds—you are most likely allergic to the mites hiding in the feathers.
Symptoms: If you notice you are short of breath, itchy, have a chronic sore, scratchy throat or have watering eyes or nose, you may be suffering from a ‘bird allergy’.
Remedies: Remove mites from your bird by purchasing a mice and lice spray. Also use an insecticide or professional service to remove any mites from your home.

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