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March 10, 2010 at 12:36 AMComments: 1 Faves: 0

Myths About Pets and Your Allergies

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

There are about 70 percent of households in the United States that have a pet, whether it is a dog, cat, or hamster. Of the total population, 10 to 15 percent is allergic to pets. These allergies are caused mainly from dander, which is produced in an animal's skin and released into the air. Other causes of pet allergies are transported through their urine or saliva, but are less prevalent. Dander is able to stay in the air for a significant amount of time which is why it has more of an effect on people with allergies.

Myth: Dogs and cats have the same effect on allergy sufferers.

Studies have shown that cats are more likely to cause allergic reactions than dogs. Cats are more likely to have an effect on someone due to their saliva, which is the main cause of the allergen production. When cats groom themselves, their saliva stays on their fur and becomes airborne when it dries.

Myth: Some breeds of animals are non allergenic.

Dander is produced within a cat or dog's skin, and all animals have skin. It's likely that someone who is allergic to certain types of cats will be allergic to all types of cats.

Myth: A short-haired animal causes less allergic reaction.

There are debates on whether an animal with shorter hair (for example a Jack Russell Terrier) that sheds less will cause less of an allergic reaction versus an animal with longer hair. Some say that even though short haired animals shed less, they still produce the same amount of dander, which is the real cause of the pet allergies. It may be wise for allergy sufferers to test themselves around a variety of animals with different lengths of hair to determine the severity of their allergy. For someone who is particularly sensitive, it may be a better idea to stay away from animals with longer hair.

Myth: Only indoor pets cause allergies.

There are many different animals that can cause allergic reactions, not just your dog, cat, or hamster. Outdoor animals such as horses, pigs, or chickens also cause a reaction due to their hair, living areas which are mainly enclosed, and their droppings. There is dander from their hair, mold particles from their pens or stables, and bacteria from their droppings that are ever present.

Myth: The only way to relieve pet allergy symptoms is through prescription medications.

While many allergists may recommend an allergy sufferer to get allergy shots, it is not the only answer. In fact, there is always the risk that the shot may generate an acute allergic reaction if not properly administered. Other alternatives may include all-natural supplements that do not run the risk of the side effects or other prescribed medications.

All-natural supplements are able to work with your body to control allergy signs. Pairing all-natural supplements with a change in lifestyle such as, frequent cleaning, limiting pet exposure within your living space, and changing air filters within your home can significantly reduce allergy symptoms.

Sources:

http://health.discovery.com/centers/allergyasthma/allergy/fur.html

http://health.discovery.com/centers/allergyasthma/myths/myths.html

http://health.howstuffworks.com/how-to-relieve-pet-allergies.htm

http://www.webmd.com/solutions/sc/allergy-proof-your-home/natural-remedies?page=1

Photo Credit: MowT

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1 Comment

  • I never knew that cat allergies were associated with their saliva over their dander. Interesting.

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