Pet Allergy

What is a Pet Allergy?

A Pet Allergy is an adverse reaction to the proteins that are naturally found in a pet’s saliva, urine, or skin cells.

This type of reaction is triggered when an allergic individual is exposed to dander shed by a pet. Any animal that has fur could be a cause for pet allergies, but these reactions are most often associated with dogs and cats.

What are the Symptoms of a Pet Allergy?

Common symptoms of pet allergy include:

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing, difficulty breathing, and signs of asthma
  • Inflamed eyes
  • Intense rash on upper chest, neck, and face (if you’re highly sensitive)
  • Asthma attacks in those with asthma

These symptoms can occur when allergens end up landing on the membranes lining your nose and eyes. Therefore, you may notice that these membranes begin to itch and may become swollen. In fact, it’s quite common for your eyes to start itching after you pet your dog or cat and then touch your eyes. Also, if a pet licks or scratches your skin, the area affected might become red.

In the event that the allergen levels are low or your sensitivity to the allergens is low, your symptoms might not become apparent until you’re in contact with the animal for a few days.

Breathing problems, particularly severe breathing issues, could occur as a result of airborne particles that get into your lungs. If you’re highly sensitive, you’ll start wheezing and coughing, and you might experience shortness of breath 15-30 minutes after inhalation of the allergens.

How is a Pet Allergy Treated?

The best ways to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid, or at least reduce, your exposure to animals that cause your pet allergy. However, there are treatments and medications that can help manage your condition and relieve your symptoms.

Last Reviewed:
October 08, 2016
Last Updated:
August 24, 2017