Managing Pet Allergies: How to Stop Being Allergic to Pet Dander

Pet allergies can be a real nuisance, but there are ways to manage them. Taking over-the-counter antihistamines, nasal corticosteroids, and nasal antihistamines can help reduce symptoms. For some people, allergy shots (immunotherapy) may provide a long-term solution. The best way to control pet allergies is to avoid the animal that causes them as much as possible.

Certain pets produce fewer allergens than others, making them better options for people with pet allergies. Keeping pets away from your bedroom and upholstered furniture, and washing your hands after touching them, can also help minimize exposure to pet allergens. Unfortunately, pet allergens can be found in places where pets have never been, so it's important to be aware of the potential for constant allergic reactions. Pet dander is made up of small patches of skin shed by cats, dogs, rodents, birds, and other animals with fur or feathers. Coarse-haired pets tend to shed more hair and their protective undercoat, which releases dander into the air.

The term “hypoallergenic” is often misinterpreted to mean that these pets are guaranteed to be “safe” for people with pet allergies. If you experience a runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, or wheezing after petting or playing with a dog or cat, you may have a pet allergy.

How to Manage Pet Allergies

The key to managing pet allergies is to identify the source of the allergen and take steps to reduce your exposure. If you have a pet allergy, it's important to keep your home clean and free of pet dander. Vacuuming regularly and using air purifiers can help reduce the amount of allergens in the air. You should also avoid contact with animals that trigger your allergies as much as possible. If you're considering getting a pet, it's important to do your research first.

Some breeds are known to produce fewer allergens than others. For example, hypoallergenic breeds such as poodles and Bichon Frises are less likely to trigger an allergic reaction than other breeds. It's also important to remember that no breed is completely hypoallergenic. If you already have a pet that triggers your allergies, there are steps you can take to reduce your exposure. Keeping pets out of your bedroom and off upholstered furniture can help minimize contact with allergens.

Washing your hands after touching them can also help reduce exposure. If necessary, you may need to consider rehoming your pet if it's causing too many problems.


Managing pet allergies can be challenging but it's possible with the right approach. Taking steps to reduce your exposure and using over-the-counter medications can help reduce symptoms. If necessary, allergy shots may provide a long-term solution.

Remember that no breed is completely hypoallergenic so it's important to do your research before getting a new pet.