Home Food Allergies Pet Dander Allergy: Signs, Causes, Therapy, and Prevention

Pet Dander Allergy: Signs, Causes, Therapy, and Prevention


Pet allergic reactions are available many types and vary broadly in signs and reactions. An animal’s saliva, urine, and pores and skin cells are all potential allergy triggers. Every accommodates particular proteins that may activate one’s immune system and trigger hostile signs, be it a minor pores and skin rash or a full-blown bronchial asthma assault.

The latter of those triggers, lifeless pores and skin cells – in any other case often called pet dander – are the commonest supply of pet allergic reactions. Furry animals like cats and canines are the commonest varieties of family pets that harbor dander. In flip, they’re essentially the most prevalent reason behind animal-related allergic reactions, impacting 10%–20% of the inhabitants worldwide.1

Whereas many will attribute a cat or canine’s saliva or fur because the allergy’s supply, most frequently, an allergy is triggered by publicity to pet dander or lifeless flakes of pores and skin {that a} pet sheds. Not solely can a dander allergy vary in severity from individual to individual, however such allergic reactions might be tough to handle.

That will help you higher perceive the character of pet dander allergic reactions, under we offer info relating to the signs, causes, therapy, and testing for this situation. However first, let’s carry readability to what pet dander really is.

What’s Pet Dander?

Whereas usually invisible to the human eye, pet dander is comprised of tiny flakes of pores and skin which might be shed by cats, canines, and different animals with fur or feathers. Dander is a potent and customary allergen that’s largely attributable to most pet allergy signs.

Actually, pet dander allergy is a rising downside, and in the US, now’s thought of to be the commonest set off of allergic reactions and bronchial asthma.2

Like mud, pet dander can float within the air for lengthy durations of time and settles on surfaces in your house the place it may stay for months. Even should you don’t personal or stay with a furry pet, it’s straightforward to be uncovered to pet dander should you go to different properties or locations the place pets are current.

What Causes Pet Dander Allergy symptoms?

Pet dander allergic reactions are brought on by proteins present in an animal’s pores and skin, hair, saliva, and urine. These proteins are too small to be seen by the bare eye, however they will trigger a number of disagreeable signs in people who find themselves allergic to them. When any individual with a dander allergy comes into contact with these proteins, their immune system overreacts and causes signs like sneezing, coughing, and watery eyes.

There are a few components that may make pet allergic reactions worse. If an individual already has pollen, mud, or different allergic reactions, they could be extra more likely to have a response to dander as effectively. Additionally, if an animal sheds extra throughout hotter months, there’s more likely to be way more dander within the air and an elevated threat of publicity.

Pet dander is mostly brought on by cats and canines. Nevertheless, practically any sort of animal with fur or feathers could cause an allergic response. This consists of different varieties of pets like guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, and birds.

What are the Signs of Pet Dander Allergy?

Relating to allergic reactions, pet dander is without doubt one of the commonest triggers. Based on the Bronchial asthma and Allergy Basis of America, slightly below a 3rd of individuals with allergic reactions report pets being the first set off.

The signs of a pet dander allergy can vary from gentle to extreme, however usually embody:

  • Sinus irritation and sneezing
  • Runny nostril
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Congestion
  • Pores and skin rash and eczema
  • Itching and dryness
  • Redness and swelling
  • Issue respiration
  • Chest tightness

Should you suspect you might be allergic to pet dander, it’s essential to see an allergist or certified doctor for correct analysis and therapy. There are numerous methods to handle pet allergic reactions and decrease your signs. With the assistance of your allergist, you could find the perfect resolution for you.

Cat Dander vs. Canine Dander Allergy: How are they Completely different?

Should you’re one of many tens of millions around the globe with pet allergic reactions, you might be questioning if there’s a distinction between cat dander and canine dander. In any case, each could cause associated allergy signs that could be tough to distinguish the supply.

So, what’s the distinction between cat dander and canine dander? Right here’s a fast rundown:

  • Some individuals are extra allergic to cat dander than canine dander (and vice versa) – total it’s extremely particular person.
  • Cat allergic reactions are recognized to be about twice as frequent as canine allergic reactions.
  • Cat dander is mostly stronger than canine dander, so it may trigger allergic reactions even in individuals who aren’t allergic to canines. It is because cat dander has a protein known as Fel de 1, which is understood to be a stronger allergen.3
  • Canine dander can be an issue for individuals with bronchial asthma. Actually, research have proven that publicity to canine dander can set off bronchial asthma assaults in some individuals.
  • Cat allergens can stay in a home for a very long time, at the same time as a lot as six months after the cat has been faraway from the house.

There are a selection of things that may contribute to somebody being allergic to 1 sort of animal however not one other. For instance, the proteins in cat dander are typically smaller than these present in canine dander. Which means that they will extra simply turn out to be airborne and inhaled.

Moreover, cats have self-cleaning rituals that may result in harboring and spreading extra allergens in comparison with most canines. These components are additionally formed based mostly on the pet’s at-home habitat and dwelling association with its occupants.

In abstract of the talk, it’s extra frequent to be allergic to cat dander than it’s to canine dander, however it’s potential to be allergic to each.

Dander Allergy Testing Choices

Correct allergy testing is essential in conditions wherein pet dander is the suspected set off. Some people are fast to imagine that they’ve a pet allergy when in reality they’re allergic to mildew, mud mites, pollen, or ragweed that’s getting trapped within the animal’s fur.

To find out if in case you have an allergy to pet dander, both a pores and skin prick take a look at or a blood take a look at is really helpful for essentially the most correct outcomes. Pores and skin prick exams are often completed by a doctor in a scientific setting, whereby a really small quantity of the allergen is pricked onto the pores and skin. Within the case of response, an allergy might be validated.

Lab-certified blood exams are arguably extra correct, and in some circumstances, simpler to manage. Whereas typically administered in a scientific setting, at-home allergy exams make it handy for people to find out their allergic reactions from the consolation of their properties.

Like all types of allergy testing, the intention is to detect allergen-specific IgE (Immunoglobulin E) to find out if in case you have a pet dander allergy. Whether or not completed at residence or by means of your doctor, an IgE detection through blood testing will successfully validate an allergy, and if allergy, allow you to hunt the perfect type of therapy or life-style modifications.

Find out how to Get Rid of Pet Dander Allergy symptoms?

Pet dander is without doubt one of the commonest triggers of allergic reactions and bronchial asthma. When you have a pet and are battling these circumstances, you might be questioning what remedies can be found that will help you handle your signs. Listed here are the commonest remedies for pet dander.

Remedies for Pet Dander Allergy

Under are a few of the commonest pet dander allergy remedies. Your doctor will advocate the perfect course of therapy relying in your particular person wants.


As one of the crucial frequent pet allergy remedies, antihistamines might be taken orally or inhaled and work to dam the histamine that’s launched in response to an allergen. This may help to cut back the signs of sneezing, itching, and watery eyes.


Corticosteroids, which might be taken orally or inhaled, work to cut back irritation within the airways. This may help to cut back frequent allergy signs of coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.


Decongestants are additionally a typical pet allergy medication that works to cut back the swelling of the blood vessels within the nostril. This may help alleviate the signs of runny/stuffy nostril, sneezing, and sinus irritation.

Leukotriene Modifiers

Leukotriene modifiers might be consumed orally and work to forestall the manufacturing of leukotrienes, that are chemical compounds that set off an inflammatory response. This medicine may help to cut back the signs of bronchial asthma which are sometimes related to dander allergic reactions.


Immunotherapy is a long-term therapy that entails publicity to small quantities of an allergen so as to construct immunity over time. This may help to cut back the severity of signs and ultimately result in remission.4

Stopping Canine and Cat Allergy symptoms

Should you’re one of many tens of millions of people that undergo from pet allergic reactions, you understand how depressing they will make you’re feeling. Sneezing, watery eyes, and a runny nostril are simply a few of the signs that may make life very tough.

The excellent news is there are a number of issues you are able to do to cut back your allergic reactions and make them extra manageable. A number of the greatest issues you are able to do are:

  • Maintain your own home clear by vacuuming and dusting recurrently.
  • Use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters and air purifiers to assist take away dander allergens from the air.
  • Retains pets away out of your mattress as to not
  • Bathe your pets weekly, as it will assist take away dander and different allergens that could be clinging to their fur.
  • Wash your arms recurrently, particularly after coming involved with furry animals.
  • Keep away from hugging, petting, or kissing cats or canines that will set off your allergy.

For brand new or anticipating dad and mom, one type of pet allergy prevention that doesn’t get sufficient consideration is taking a look at early-age publicity to cats and canines. Research counsel that early-age publicity and dwelling with pets earlier than or close to one yr of age could have a sensitizing impact in stopping allergic reactions.5

Final Phrases

Pet dander allergic reactions are fairly frequent, however there are methods to forestall and deal with them. Should you suspect you may have a pet dander allergy, see an allergist for testing and therapy. With the right precautions, you may stay a cheerful, wholesome life along with your furry buddy by your facet.


1. Chan SK, Leung DYM. Canine and Cat Allergy symptoms: Present State of Diagnostic Approaches and Challenges. Allergy Bronchial asthma Immunol Res. 2018 Mar;10(2):97-105. doi: 10.4168/aair.2018.10.2.97. PMID: 29411550; PMCID: PMC5809771.

2. Wallace, Dana V. “Pet dander and perennial allergic rhinitis: therapeutic choices.” Allergy and bronchial asthma proceedings vol. 30,6 (2009): 573-83. doi:10.2500/aap.2009.30.3286

3. Bonnet, B., Messaoudi, Ok., Jacomet, F. et al. An replace on molecular cat allergens: Fel d 1 and what else? Chapter 1: Fel d 1, the key cat allergen. Allergy Bronchial asthma Clin Immunol 14, 14 (2018).

4. Ling, Morris, and Aidan A Lengthy. “Pet dander and difficult-to-control bronchial asthma: Therapeutic choices.” Allergy and bronchial asthma proceedings vol. 31,5 (2010): 385-91. doi:10.2500/aap.2010.31.3390

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