What exactly is pet dander?
And… is it possible that you’re allergic to it?
These are fair questions that a lot of pet owners ask themselves.
And in this post, you’re going to learn the truth.
How do you know if you’re allergic to your pets?
And if you are, how serious of a problem is it?
Thankfully, most ‘pet allergy’ cases are mild. But this isn’t always the case.
Let’s jump in and answer the questions, once and for all.
The Basics: What Is A Pet Allergy?
First off, it’s important to define exactly what a pet allergy is.
A pet allergy is essentially an allergic reaction to certain proteins found in animal skins cells, urine, and/or saliva.
People who suffer from pet allergies commonly show symptoms such as sneezing, a runny nose, signs of asthma, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.
The term ‘pet dander’ comes from the dead flakes of skin that pets tend to shed on a day-to-day basis.
The Specific Symptoms Of Pet Allergies
Alright. Now, let’s talk about the specific symptoms caused by pet allergies.
First off, pet allergies generally cause inflammation of the nasal passages as a primary symptom.
Some related symptoms may include:
- Frequent awakening while asleep
- Facial pressure and pain
- An itchy nose
- An itchy roof of the mouth or throat
- Nasal congestion
- A runny nose
- Postnasal drip
If your pet allergies are also irritating your asthma, you may suffer from symptoms like:
- Breathing difficulties
- Chest tightness/pain
- Trouble sleeping (caused by breathing problems)
- An audible ‘whistling’ or ‘wheezing’ sound when exhaling
You may also suffer from a range of skin symptoms, including:
- Itchy skin
- Patches of raised skin or hives
How Do You Know If Your Pet Allergy Is Serious?
Thankfully, most of the symptoms associated with pet allergies are pretty mild. For example, a runny nose, sneezing, and/or coughing could also be attributed to a common cold, and doesn’t generally lead to any serious long-term negative effects.
But in some cases, signs and symptoms can become severe.
For example, if your nasal passages get completely blocked, or if you have too much trouble sleeping, you may want to consider calling your doctor.
You should also consider seeking out emergency care if you end up having real trouble breathing, as that can be a sign of a more serious allergic reaction.
But as a general rule, most pet allergies tend to be pretty mild, and they generally don’t put you at risk for any long-term or serious health complications.
There you have it!
The 411 on animal/pet allergies, what causes them, and how serious they are.
If you tend to struggle with these types of allergies, a visit to your doctor may yield productive results.
They may be able to prescribe you something for the symptoms, and help you to overcome the issue so that you can get back to caring for your pets like normal.
Don’t worry, you got this!