Pet allergies, particularly dog allergies and cat allergies, are caused by a reaction to proteins that are found in a pet’s saliva, skin cells, or urine. Pet allergies are often triggered in patients when they are exposed to dander, saliva and urine proteins. Dog allergies and cat allergies are most common, but any pet can cause allergies. It is sometimes difficult for patients to tell if they are experiencing a common cold or if they are allergic to cats or allergic to dogs.
Pet allergy symptoms include sneezing, itchy eyes, runny nose, nasal congestion, and sometimes difficulty breathing or wheezing. For people that are allergic to dogs or allergic to cats, the best course of allergy management is to avoid exposure to the animals. It may be necessary to use medication or other treatment options to relieve pet allergy symptoms. Medications or allergen immunotherapy can help pet allergies without getting rid of the family pet!