Pet Allergies 101

By: Shaila U. Gogate, MD

Shaila Gogate MD

Shaila U. Gogate, MD

As a reminder, allergies come in many forms. The most common allergens are pollen, dust mites, mold, animal dander, insect stings, latex, and certain food and medications. For this post we are going to focus on animal dander otherwise known as pet allergies.

Fido is causing your allergy symptoms

The most common way patients find out about this particular allergy is after bringing a new pet home, or when visiting a home with pets. Allergies to your household pets can cause nose symptoms like sneezing, stuffy nose and watery eyes.  Sometimes it can even lead to increase in asthma and skin symptoms.  Millions of pet owners have allergies to their pets.

Aren’t some pets “hypoallergenic”?

Despite popular thought, there is no such thing as a truly “hypoallergenic breed” of cats and dogs. The allergy causing protein (pet’s dander) is found in skin flakes, saliva and urine. Allergic dander in cats and dogs is not affected by length of hair or fur, nor by shedding.  Also, pet hair or fur can accumulate outdoor pollens which can increase symptoms.

pet allergies

Do I have to give Fido away if I’m allergic?

It is not necessary to always give away your pets.  We (at Colorado Allergy and Asthma Centers) can figure out the best treatment plan to help with your allergy and asthma symptoms and still keep your beloved pet. Don’t put off getting tested for a possible pet allergy, make an appointment today so that you can find relief and live happily along with Fido.

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