What to do if you’re allergic to your pet

Love Your Pet

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Many people might think it’s your dog or cat’s fur that causes allergies to flare up, but really people are usually allergic to the dander or flakes of dead skin.

And that dander gets everywhere even in places your pet has never set a paw. Symptoms of pet allergies are usually like those of any other nasal allergy: coughing, red or itchy eyes, runny nose and sneezing.
Allergists suggest taking over-the-counter allergy medications or just avoiding dogs or cats altogether if you’re allergic.

But that isn’t always possible if you already have a pet living in your home. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences says people with pets should keep animals out of the bedroom, off of furniture, vacuum regularly, and bathe your pet often. Allergy shots are another option for people with dog allergies but a full course of treatment can take years

Your doctor can also do a blood or skin test; some people assume that they have pet allergies but it turns out they don’t. Instead, they’re allergic to the pollen or mold that the dog is carrying inside on its coat from outside

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