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reducing pet allergens in your home
corgi dog laying on white floor with white background


Reducing Pet Allergens

15 Minute Guide

Pet Allergens

If you're one of the millions of people who are allergic to pets, you know how difficult it can be to live with allergies. Pets are a part of many people's lives, and it's not always easy to give them up. However, there are ways that you can manage your allergy and still keep your pet. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips for living with an allergy to pets. Explore our guide to discover if you are truly allergic to your pet, what are pet allergens, and advice for alternative options on how to treat your allergies to pets.

women sneezing holding tissue to face with dog nearby on couch

Are you allergic to your pet? The signs

Many people are surprised to find out that they are actually allergic to their beloved furry friend. The most common symptoms of pet allergies are sneezing, stuffy nose, coughing, wheezing, red, itchy, watery eyes, and rash or hives. If you experience any of these symptoms after coming into contact with your pet, It's likely you have an pet allergy and it's important to see an allergist for testing because it's very uncomfortable to live with pet allergies and you might be allergic to other allergens.

How the body reacts to an allergen

Allergies are a complex immune response in which the body senses an otherwise harmless substance as a threat. When an allergen is encountered, the immune system responds by releasing histamines and other chemicals into the bloodstream, causing symptoms such as sneezing, wheezing, or hives. These reactions are intended to help eliminate the perceived threat from the body, but they can also cause serious health problems and discomfort for those who suffer from allergies. Ultimately, understanding how allergies work is critical for anyone who wants to live a healthy and comfortable life despite their allergic sensitivities.

Your mucous membranes and allergens

Mucous membranes are found throughout the body, lining various cavities and covering surfaces that come into contact with the external environment. One of their primary functions is to act as a barrier against harmful substances, such as bacteria and viruses. However, mucous membranes can also become irritated or inflamed in response to allergens, or pet allergens. When this happens, mucous membranes produce excess mucus in an attempt to flush out the allergen. This can lead to symptoms such as runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing. In severe cases, mucous membrane inflammation can cause difficulty breathing.

cat sitting on table in kitchen

What are pet allergens?

The major cat allergen (Fel d 1) and dog allergen (Can f 1) are proteins present in your pet's dander, saliva, and urine. Pro tip: Pet hair is not an allergen but it can collect other allergens like pollens and mold. Pet allergens are extremely small - so small that it can easily become airborne and inhaled.

The average size of a pet dander particle is just 2.5 microns, which is about one-tenth the diameter of a human hair. Because pet allergens are so tiny, it can easily pass through HVAC filters, or air purifiers and into your lungs. Once they become airborne, pet allergen particles can remain afloat for hours, making them a common trigger for indoor allergies.

This can trigger asthma attacks and other respiratory problems. What's more, pet allergens are extremely light and can easily be carried on clothes or shoes, which means it can spread quickly from one room to another. Indeed, your home can contain pet allergens even if you don't own a pet.

Are pet allergens bad for your health?

What about high concentrations of pet allergens

Side effects of concentrated amounts of pet allergens can be serious and should not be taken lightly. Exposure to high concentrations of pet allergens, such as dander, may lead to a variety of adverse reactions in some individuals. In some cases, prolonged exposure to pet allergens may even contribute to the development of chronic health conditions such as asthma. In severe cases, an animal allergy can even trigger anaphylaxis, a potentially life-threatening reaction. Therefore, it is important for people with sensitivities to these substances to take steps to minimize their exposure whenever possible.

Can I have pet allergens in my house if I don't have a pet?

The short answer to this question is yes, you can have pet allergens in your house even if you don't own a pet. Pet allergens can travel through the air, and on clothing making it possible for these particles to accumulate in your home regardless of whether or not you own a pet. This is especially true if there are friends or relatives who own pets. So, while having a pet may increase your risk of experiencing allergic reactions to pet dander, it is important to remember that you can still encounter these triggers without having a dog or cat in your home. Did you know that 100% of households contain cat dander even if they don't own a cat?

All about pet allergy skin testing

Allergy skin testing is a way for your allergist to find out what substances are making you allergic. Allergy skin testing is also called skin prick test, intradermal test, or patch test. Allergy skin tests can be used to find out if you’re allergic to pet dander and more. Allergy skin tests are usually done by an allergist. The allergist will place a drop of a substance on your skin and then prick the surface of your skin with a needle. If you’re allergic to the substance, you’ll likely have a raised bump (wheal) and redness (flare) around the site where the prick occurred. If the wheal is large, it may itch. A positive allergy skin test means you may be allergic to that substance. Although, some people may find it uncomfortable to be pricked, allergy skin testing is generally safe.

All about pet allergy blood tests

Allergy blood tests are used to measure the body's immune response to certain allergens. These tests are typically conducted by drawing a sample of blood from the patient, which is then exposed to different potential allergens. If a specific allergen triggers an immune response, this will be detected in the blood sample via changes in various markers or proteins. Allergy blood tests are an important diagnostic tool for evaluating allergies and identifying the best course of treatment. They may involve a series of tests that are repeated over time to monitor whether a patient's condition is improving or worsening, and they can help to guide and personalize treatment plans through exposure therapy or other interventions. Overall, allergy blood tests provide valuable insight into allergic conditions and can help people live better lives with fewer allergy symptoms.

tissue box next to nasal spray allergy meds on yellow background
tissue box next to nasal spray allergy meds on yellow background

Pros and Cons of Taking Allergy Medication For Your Pet Allergy

When it comes to allergies, many people turn to medication as a way to ease their symptoms and feel better. However, despite its convenience and effectiveness, allergy medication also has its pros and cons. On the one hand, medications like antihistamines and decongestants can help to reduce inflammation and block histamine production, thus reducing the severity of allergy symptoms like runny noses, sneezing, and itchy eyes. Additionally, they are readily available from pharmacies or online, making them simple and convenient to obtain.

However, there are also some downsides to taking allergy medication. For one thing, some medications come with side effects such as drowsiness or dry mouth that can impact quality of life. In addition, pet dander and other common allergens may remain in homes where these medications have been used. This means that while they may provide temporary relief from allergies, they do not address the root cause of the problem. Ultimately, the decision whether or not to take allergy medication is a personal one that should be made based on each person's needs and preferences.

Allergy shots, immunotherapy, and Allergen Spray

While allergy shots are the most effective way to combat allergies, they are not the only option available. Some people may have a severe reaction to the shots, while others simply prefer not to receive them. There are a number of alternatives to allergy shots that can be just as effective in reducing or eliminating allergies. One option is oral immunotherapy, which involves taking gradually increasing doses of allergens in pill or liquid form. Another is sublingual immunotherapy which uses drops of allergens placed under the tongue. A third option is Allergen Spray that helps control pet allergens in the environment without you having to take daily pills or shots. With so many options available, there is no need to suffer from pet allergies any longer.

What is an allergen spray and can I use it in combination with allergy meds?

Allergen Spray are a life-saver for those who suffer from allergies to pets. These sprays help to reduce allergy symptoms by providing a barrier between you and the irritants in your home environment. Third-party lab verified to reduce allergens by up to 99% on surfaces and 95% of allergens in the air just by simply spray your house. So if you're looking to control your allergies without relying on medication, Allergen Spray is an excellent option. Just make sure to use it regularly to control pet allergens because after all, pet dander allergens are shed in your home daily!

How to control pet allergens in your home

Pet allergies can be a major nuisance, making it difficult to breathe or causing discomfort. To control pet allergens in your home, you will need to take a few key steps. The first is to limit your pet's exposure to certain areas of the house, such as bedrooms or where people tend to gather frequently. You should also routinely clean high-traffic areas such as the kitchen or living room. Vacuum carpets and upholstered furniture. Use a damp mop to remove pet dander and hair from kitchen and bath flooring. Use an allergen spray, regularly. Additionally, you should wash all textiles (clothing, bedding and towels) on a regular basis using a hypoallergenic detergent. By taking these steps, you can help minimize the amount of allergens in your home and improve your quality of life with a beloved pet.

fluffy dog sitting on white bed

5 steps to reduce pet allergens in your home

1. Keep your pet out of the bedroom. This is probably the single most important thing you can do to help reduce your pet allergens. By keeping your pet out of the bedroom, you create a safe haven where you can retreat when symptoms start to flare up. Change into clean clothes before entering the room to reduce pet dander.

2. Vacuum at least twice a week, preferably daily. Vacuuming with a HEPA filter will help to remove pet dander from carpeting and upholstery. Be sure to vacuum regularly, even if you don't have visible signs of dirt or debris. As vacuuming/cleaning can release pet allergens back into the air, it is best to use the Allergen Spray after cleaning and vacuuming.

3. Wash items in hot water, above 130 degrees. Be sure to wash all of your clothing, bedding, and towels in hot water at least once a week. You may also want to consider using a hypoallergenic laundry detergent to further reduce the risk of triggering an allergy.

4. If you want to reduce the amount of pet dander in your home, one of the best things you can do is declutter. Removing unnecessary clutter also helps to minimize dust build-up, which in turn helps to keep pet dander at a minimum. And cleaning your home will be faster and easier.

5. Change your air filters at least once a month. If you have multiple pets, you may need to change your filter even more frequently, even every 2 weeks. Regularly changing your air filters is an important part of keeping your home clean and ensuring you can breathe easier with pet allergies. So if you have a furry friend, add the cost of air filters to you monthly budget. Install a high-rated MERV filter, 10 or above.

Frequently asked questions

Can I still have a pet even though I am allergic? You can but consider hanging out with a friend's pet at their house first. If you're highly allergic, ask your doctor if he advises having a pet.

What options are available besides shots and medication? There are several options, including immunotherapy and allergen sprays, but it is best to talk with your doctor about your particular allergy and course of treatment.

How long do pet allergens stay active? According to the leading allergy diagnostics company, forever.

If I remove the pet from the room will my allergies subside? Unfortunately, the answer is no.

How can I find an effective allergen spray? Look for lab verified allergen sprays preferably third party verified. This means an outside party has tested the product and confirmed that it works to reduce allergens. Also, look for one that doesn't contain harsh chemicals or scents that could add to your allergy burden. Finally, choose one that discloses their ingredients.

Can air purifiers work? Yes, they can help. Just be sure to purchase an air purifier that is rated for the square footage of the room you are going to be using it in (this is very important). Also, check the manufacturer's recommendations on changing or cleaning the purifier's filter.

Glossary of pet allergy terms

Allergens: An allergen is any substance that can trigger a negative reaction in someone who is allergic.

Allergic Reaction: When your body comes into contact with something you're allergic to, it can cause an allergic reaction. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can range from mild (a rash or itch) to severe (trouble breathing). In some cases, an allergic reaction can even be life-threatening. 

Allergen Spray: A lab verified spray that can help control pet allergens in your home by up to 99% on surfaces and 95% of allergens in the air.

Pet dander: Pet dander is a fine, often microscopic, particle that is shed from the body of a pet.

Oral immunotherapy: is an alternative to shots which involves taking gradually increasing doses of allergens in pill form

Sublingual immunotherapy: is also an alternative to shots which uses drops of allergens placed under the tongue

Disclaimer: Always talk to your doctor before starting or stopping any medications.

Common Questions

How do allergy blood tests help in diagnosing pet allergies?

Allergy blood tests measure the body's immune response to specific allergens, including pet dander. These tests involve taking a blood sample from the patient and exposing it to various potential allergens. If the blood sample shows changes in markers or proteins associated with an immune response after exposure to pet dander, it indicates the presence of a pet allergy. Allergy blood tests provide valuable insights into allergic conditions and can assist individuals in managing their allergies and reducing symptoms.

What is allergy skin testing and how does it help identify pet allergies?

Allergy skin testing is a method used by allergists to determine what substances are causing allergies in individuals. In the context of pet allergies, skin testing can be used to identify if someone is allergic to pet dander. During the test, small amounts of allergens, including pet dander, are applied to the skin through pricking or scratching. If a person is allergic to pet dander, they may develop a localized reaction at the test site, indicating their sensitivity to the allergen.

How can allergy symptoms be decreased?

To decrease allergy symptoms, it is important to reduce exposure to the allergen causing them, which in this case is pet dander. Minimizing contact with pet dander by keeping pets away from certain areas, regularly cleaning and vacuuming, and using air purifiers can help decrease the amount of allergens in the environment and subsequently alleviate allergy symptoms.

Why do some people have dander sensitivities and experience allergic reactions?

Some individuals have dander sensitivities because their bodies see pet dander as a threat. When the immune system identifies pet dander as an allergen, it produces antibodies to fight against it. This immune response, which is meant to protect the body, results in the allergic reactions experienced by those with dander sensitivities.

 What is pet dander and why does it cause allergy symptoms?

Pet dander refers to the dead skin cells that pets constantly shed. While this shedding is a sign of a healthy animal, it can cause issues for those with dander sensitivities. Allergies occur when the body perceives pet dander as a foreign substance and produces antibodies to attack it. This autoimmune response leads to the symptoms we know as allergic reactions.