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Adopting A Pet? Be Aware Of These Common Pet Allergies

Pets are incredibly cute and cuddly, and they are also loyal animals. Because of this, many Americans choose to have a pet in the home. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, roughly 30 percent of Americans who have allergies have some level of sensitivity to animals. This is unfortunate for those who want to have a pet. Symptoms tend to be triggered by animal-related proteins that attach to hair, dander, saliva, and urine. If you want to adopt a pet, here are some of the most common pet allergies you should familiarize yourself with.

Dog-Related Allergies

Dogs are by far the most popular four-legged pet in the United States, and it can be difficult to get away from the allergens that these animals produce. You may be sensitive to dogs if you cough, sneeze, have watery eyes, or develop a skin rash after dealing with a dog.

You may also develop these symptoms if a dog licks you or after being in a room where a dog has been present. Believe it or not, hypoallergenic breeds don't exist, though some individuals do find that they're more sensitive to certain breeds than others.

Cat-Related Allergies

Cat allergens tend to spread in a similar way as dog allergens, and the same types of symptoms are produced. However, more people tend to be allergic to cats than they are to dogs.

In addition, the severity of the reaction may vary significantly from one individual to the next, since some are able to handle cats with minor symptoms, while other individuals are unable even enter a home with a cat in it without experiencing extreme discomfort. It is important to understand that maintaining short hair on a feline will not impact the number of cat allergens; however, it is possible to worsen symptoms by having multiple cats in the home.

Caged Animal Allergies

Caged animals like rabbits, hamsters, and guinea pigs may be smaller than cats and dogs, but they are still able to cause humans to experience significant allergy symptoms. Luckily, these animals tend to remain isolated for the most part, which drastically reduces their risk to individuals when compared to other types of pets.

As a general rule, individuals find themselves with an allergic reaction to caged animals when they handle the animal or get extremely close to the cage and end up breathing in the animal's urine proteins.

Keep in mind that some allergic reactions may not be related to the animal. Instead, the allergic reactions may be related to the dust mites that live within the hay which is commonly used in the cage for bedding or food.

If you would like to learn which animals you have a sensitivity to, contact an allergist for allergy testing for pet allergies.

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