Pet allergies are extremely common and are typically caused by animal hair, skin cells, saliva, and even, urine from pets. Homes with more than one pet may have greater concentrations of these allergens and may increase allergy symptoms. In addition to these allergens, animal hair can capture mold spores and pollen from outdoors which can then be brought indoors onto furniture. Dander is particularly problematic as it remains airborne longer than other allergens and can continue to move around the home more often due to its small particulate size.
Individuals with a family history of allergies and asthma, exposure to animal hair later in life, and those who come into contact with a high amount of animal hair on a regular basis are more likely to be affected by animal hair allergies than others. Cats and dogs are not the only types of pets that may cause allergic reactions. Other common pets such as hamsters, gerbils, and mice are also likely culprits of pet allergies due to hair, skin cells, urine and saliva that becomes airborne.
Pet Allergy Symptoms:
Itchy, watery eyes
Shortness of breath
Pet allergies do not necessarily mean, pets must be removed from the home, but the exposure of animal hair does need to be contained.
- Remove curtains and carpeting, if possible to prevent collecting there
- Use an air purifier
- Keep pets out of the rooms you use most often
- Keep pets off of couches and chairs that can collect hair easily
- Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter weekly
- Bathe pets on a weekly basis to reduce airborne hair
- Do not pet, kiss, or hug pets
- If contact is made with pets, wash your face and hands quickly with soap and water
- Check and replace air filters monthly