Do you begin to sniff and sneeze the minute Fido enters the room? Then you may very well be allergic to dogs or cats. But what is the real cause of pet allergies? Many believe a cat or dog allergy involves a reaction to their fur. But in fact, animal dander is a common cause of pet allergies, and is actually old skin scales shed from these pets.
Older dogs will produce more dander than young ones because as they age, their skin becomes drier. So, mild reactions to a puppy may become stronger as the dog ages. Unfortunately, animal dander is very light. Although small enough to be unseen, it can float through your house for hours before settling.
Another common cause of pet allergies is Felis Domesticus Allergen 1. This is simply a long name for the protein found in the cat’s salivary glands and in the sebaceous glands of the cat’s hair roots. As the cat cleans himself, the protein is transferred to the fur of the cat. As the saliva dries, the allergen is released into your environment. Incredibly, this allergen sticks like glue to just about everything, including your carpet, your walls and even your clothes! This makes a cat’s dander harder to control, as it is lighter than dog dander and can reach every nook and cranny of your home.
Birds produce dander as well. Feathers of certain bird species contain dust which is easily spread through the air. For example, cockatiels produce enough dust to cover furniture around the cage within hours. If you are considering a pet bird, research which types produce the least amount of dander, and avoid birds altogether if you test positive for feather dust allergies.
But how do you keep the dander down in your pet friendly home? You can begin by bathing your pet regularly to reduce the amount of dander released in the air. Never let your animal sleep with you, as we spend about 1/3 of our lives in our bedrooms. Do not let your animals sit or sleep on the furniture, no matter how cute a look they give you. Dust and vacuum daily and wear a mask meant to block allergens as you clean house. Dogs and cats pick up pollen and mold spores when playing outside. Before you let them in, brush them thoroughly to remove as many spores as possible.
Allerpet is a product made to minimize dander on your dog or cat. It can be rubbed on your pet every week or so to keep the dander down. It is sold by veterinarians or can be found online.
Additionally, any of The Guardian Technologies air purifiers are great for pet allergy sufferers. True HEPA captures 99.97% of allergens including pet dander, pollen and dust mites, while the power of UV-C technology kills germs and bacteria.
Remember, if you are allergic to dogs or cats, there is no way to stop the dander from invading your environment. In this case, it is best to stick to something like goldfish rather than risk the possibility of becoming ill or having to give your pet a new home.