You may be wondering why you are allergic to pet dander. The answer lies in the proteins found in dandruff (dead skin cells), saliva, and pet urine. Hair, fur, or feathers accumulate dandruff, which can also carry other allergens, such as dust mites, mold, and pollen.
When the immune system reacts to these foreign substances, allergies occur.
Pet allergies are caused by certain proteins called allergens that are present in your pet. These allergens can be found in the fur, skin, urine (pee), and saliva (saliva) of animals. They are also present in pet dander, which are small scales that come out of the skin, hair, or feathers of pets. Animal dander is one of the most common allergens in the world.
Pet allergies often cause upper and lower respiratory tract problems, such as congestion, sneezing, runny nose, chest tightness, and wheezing. Other symptoms include tearing, itching, and eczema or skin rashes. Proteins found in pet dander, skin flakes, saliva, and urine can cause an allergic reaction or worsen asthma symptoms in some people. In addition, pet hair or fur can accumulate pollen, mold spores, and other allergens found outdoors.
If an allergy test shows that you are allergic to your pet, it's important to know what causes your allergic reaction to that pet. The saliva and skin glands that attach to dry skin (dandruff) and animal fur contain proteins that trigger allergy, called allergens. The fur and dandruff then cling to walls, carpets, and clothing. Any animal with fur can be a source of pet allergy but pet allergies are most commonly associated with cats and dogs.
Keeping animals outdoors is only a temporary solution as pet dander will eventually reach the interior as it is carried on clothes. Animal dander can be found even in homes and buildings without pets because of how quickly allergens spread. If you have mild pet allergies, symptoms may appear a few hours or a few days after meeting a pet. If you don't have a pet but are thinking about adopting or buying one, make sure you don't have pet allergies before you get engaged.
If you're allergic to your pet and your reactions aren't life-threatening, there are many ways to reduce indoor allergens and allergy symptoms so you and your pet can live together more comfortably. Fortunately there are ways to avoid and limit dandruff to better control pet allergies. Because of how light and small pet dander is, it can remain suspended in the air for a long period of time and can easily adhere to furniture, bedding, fabrics, and many other household items. It's worth preserving the bond between you and your pet by checking if you are really allergic to your pet and trying these solutions if so.
If you're exposed to a pet for a long time, you may have more chronic symptoms such as persistent nasal congestion rather than the sudden symptoms that occur when you're exposed to a pet in the short term. This makes it look like the pet isn't causing you problems. Unfortunately some people believe that once they are diagnosed with a pet allergy they have no choice but to separate them from their family. However this isn't necessarily true as there are many ways to reduce indoor allergens and allergy symptoms so you can still enjoy the bond between you and your beloved pet.