What are the Most Common Sources of Pet Dander Allergies? - An Expert's Perspective

Most of the time, pet allergies are triggered by exposure to dead skin scales (dander) shed by a pet. Any animal with fur can be a source of pet allergy, but pet allergies are most commonly associated with cats and dogs. Animals without fur, such as reptiles, amphibians, and fish, don't shed dander, so they are less likely to cause an allergic reaction. But any mammal, such as cats and dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits and hamsters, etc., can be a source of pet dander.

The most common source of pet allergies is the dead skin cells known as dandruff or pet dander. Furry animals like cats and dogs are the most common culprits for these allergens. In fact, it is estimated that 10-20% of the world's population is affected by pet allergies. It is important to note that pet dander isn't the only source of pet allergens.

Proteins found in pets' urine and saliva can also cause allergic reactions. These proteins stick to animal fur when pets lick each other and become airborne when they dry out. Cats are the most common cause of pet allergies and approximately 10 million people in the United States are allergic to cats. Pet allergies are caused by an immune system response to proteins present in the animal.

Many people assume that they are allergic to their pets' fur when in reality it is the proteins in pet dander and dry saliva and urine that cause the reaction. Dandruff occurs naturally as the epidermis, or the outer layer of the skin, renews itself. The epidermis is made up of many layers of cells that are constantly being pushed upwards to replace the cells above. As this occurs, the outer cells die and flake off to the environment in the form of dandruff.

It has been discovered that epidermal turnover is faster in breeds that are groomed frequently and especially in breeds that are prone to various forms of dry and oily seborrhea. Saliva and urine are also potential sources of allergens. They settle on the coat when licking it and when urinating. More people are allergic to cats than to dogs, probably because cats spend more time at home and bathe with their saliva.

Because dandruff is very small and light, it can stick to your clothes when you're out and about and return to your house undetected. It can also be left on the clothes of your children or guests. Animal dander has been found in many public places, such as school classrooms, in quantities high enough to cause an allergic reaction. Tests have been done in many pet-free homes and similar results have been found.

If you've moved to a house where a pet has lived, it will take a year or more until all the dandruff loses its potency. So even if you don't have a cat in your house, you can react as if there were one. Some rodents, such as guinea pigs and gerbils, have become increasingly popular as domestic pets. They can also cause allergic reactions, just like mice and rats.

Urine is the main source of allergens for these animals. In addition to dandruff, people with pet allergies can also be allergic to proteins that are present in pet saliva, urine, and feces. Molekule air purifiers contain a patented technology called photoelectrochemical oxidation (PECO), which can destroy allergens such as pet dander and other pollutants at the molecular level. For people who are allergic or for whom asthma symptoms worsen, pet dander can become a serious health problem.

Some sprays for pet dander exist but their claims may not be substantiated; in this case trial and error prevails. If you have respiratory or skin symptoms due to pet dander doctors often recommend taking your pet out of your home. Pet lovers who want to live with hypoallergenic animals should consider animals such as guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, and other pets. In general, pet dander stays in the air for a long time and can easily adhere to furniture fabrics bedding among other household items.

In fact pet dander allergy is a growing problem and in the United States it is now considered the most common trigger for allergies and asthma. Because of the staying power of pet dander it's important to maintain a routine if you're allergic to your pets. Although dandruff involves airborne allergens pet hair plays an important role in transporting dander acting as a vehicle for the substance to move around and around the house. When your furry friends' small harmless skin scales become harmful you may have an allergy to pet dander. Like cats there are no dog breeds that don't produce dander and other pet allergens but there are those that produce less. However it's critical to choose the right indoor air purifier to reduce allergy and pet dander symptoms and improve overall air quality. Because all pet dander cannot be eliminated even with rigorous household cleaning and regular grooming using an air purifier can help eliminate inhalable particles that enter the nose and lungs and can cause allergic reactions.