Pet allergy symptoms appear during or shortly after exposure to the animal. Allergies to pets, particularly to cats and dogs, are a common cause of allergic disease, including asthma and allergic rhinitis (hay fever).These symptoms may linger long after the animal is gone. This is because the dander remains in the air, on furniture or on your clothing. The allergy results in: Sneezing, Itchy, watery eyes, Runny nose, Congestion. Additionally, contact with a pet may trigger skin allergy symptoms including itchy skin or raised, red patches (hives). Pets can also trigger asthma symptoms, causing wheezing, difficulty breathing or chest tightness.
The most effective way to manage pet and other allergic rhinitis symptoms is to avoid the allergen(s) causing the symptoms. Antihistamines like Allegra, Claritin, Benadryl, or Zyrtec and other over-the-counter allergy medications may help relieve symptoms, but they are not ideal as a long-term treatment. Decongestants, which reduce swelling in the nose and relieve congestion; examples are over-the-counter Sudafed and Allegra-D. Other drugs, which affect allergy or asthma symptoms in different ways; prescription steroids -- such as Flonase or Nasonex sprays -- are a common treatment for allergies. Both Flonase and Nasonex are available over the counter and by prescription. Allergy shots have a proven track record as an effective form of long-term treatment (immunotherapy).
Several projects such as “Common allergens and allergic reactions to dogs” and “Pets and health: the impact of companion animals. Government
Almost 62% of U.S. households have pets, and more than 161 million of these pets are cats and dogs. Unfortunately, millions of pet owners have an allergy (allergic rhinitis) to their animals. Studies show that 10 to 15% of the U.S. population is allergic to companion animals. Even so, the National Institutes of Health estimates that 25% of people with allergy- and asthma-related health problems keep pets in their home. And the Humane Society of the United States estimates that one-third of Americans who are allergic to cats live with at least one cat anyway. Roughly 2.8% of people 18 have hay fever. In 2010, White children were more likely to have had hay fever (20%) than black children (5%). Worldwide, allergic rhinitis affects between 10% and 30 % of the population. Worldwide, sensitization (IgE antibodies) to foreign proteins in the environment is present in up to 40% of the population. In 2012, 7.5% or 17.6 million adults were diagnosed with hay fever in the past 12 months. 9.0% or 6.6 million children reported hay fever in the past 10 months. In 2013, 11.1 million visits to physician offices resulted with a primary diagnosis of allergic rhinitis.