Pet Allergies: Symptoms and Treatment

 Get your pet allergies to behave.

A woman sits on the floor next to her dog.

Pet allergies are quite common. But they don’t have to stop you from sharing life with your furry friends.

What triggers pet allergies?

People with pet allergies have oversensitive immune systems which react to harmless proteins — or allergens — in an animal’s urine, saliva, or dander (skin flakes). These allergens can cling to and collect on furniture, clothing, and other surfaces. Pet hair itself is not an allergen. And there are no hypoallergenic animals, not even hairless ones.¹,²

What causes an allergic response?

Allergies happen because the immune system treats otherwise-harmless proteins as allergens, which your body considers a threat. It will start creating antibodies and histamines to fight it.¹

What’s the story on allergies to cats?

Allergies to cats are twice as common as allergies to dogs and can range from very mild to very severe.¹ Symptoms can develop very quickly or sometimes take hours to appear. If you’re unsure if you have a cat allergy or need cat allergy treatment, we recommend visiting a healthcare professional or allergist who can conduct tests and provide a diagnosis.¹,² 

How can we cope with allergies to dogs?

First and foremost, there are no hypoallergenic dog breeds. Some may cause fewer allergies than others, but all of them distribute allergens around the home. Best thing to practice is avoidance. Don't pet or hug the dog and if you do, wash your hands with soap and water. If you have a dog at home, keep the dog out of your bedroom and ensure regular weekly baths to reduce air born dog allergen.² 

An action plan for fighting pet allergies.

You can minimize allergens by keeping your house nice and clean. A big step in fighting pet allergies is to make your house more livable for you and less hospitable for allergens:² 

    Bathe your pets at least once a week 

    Invest in an air purifier with a certified allergy and asthma filter

    Keep pets out of the bedroom 

    Wash your hands with soap routinely throughout the day 

    Vacuum frequently

A young man holding a cat while standing inside.

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 1.    Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Editors. Pet Allergy Are You Allergic to Dogs or Cats?, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (,


2.    American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, Editors. Pet Allergy, American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (,


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