Pet allergies and your health

My little girls

lynda-y Allergies , , , , , ,

Pet Allergies

 

My Little dogs

I am not even going to suggest getting rid of your furry little babies. I would never consider that and I deal with my allergies. But I am going to try to give you some things that I have personally done, used and tried as well as other tips so you can live with your babies a little easier. If your nose runs or you start sneezing and wheezing after being around your pet or playing with your animal, you could be allergic. Some people with pet allergies also have skin reactions. For example, their skin might break out where a dog licks them. Others with more severe allergies might develop hives. People with asthma well as pet allergies can have especially serious symptoms. Animals produce multiple allergens or proteins that can cause an allergy. These allergens are found not only in the animal fur, but also in the saliva, urine and the pet’s dander. Dust and pollen can also get trapped in your pets fur and cause you grief. It’s not just dogs and cats that can cause a problem but all pets except maybe a fish.

 

 

Why are you allergic to your pet??

 

Any animal can trigger an allergic response, but cats are the most common culprits. There are no animals that you can’t have a possible reaction to; even two animals from the same breed could give different levels of reaction. It is popular belief that you can get a hypoallergenic pet, you can’t, I’m sorry to say. If you have a true pet allergy it is more likely caused from a protein gland in the animal and gets transferred through their saliva, or urine and or sebaceous gland secretions. All animals wash themselves and get the saliva onto their fur and skin, even hairless animals could cause reactions as the saliva dries and causes dead skin, and this is where a lot of the allergens come from.

In reality it is always important to get tested to find out if you have a true allergy or not. As with my previous posts on allergies and cross contamination or similar proteins, animals may not be your problem at all. There could be hiding, on their fur, tiny little hitchhikers, the pollen or mold spores from being outside playing could have caught a ride. So if you have outside allergies, hay fever or other seasonal issue, this could be part of the problem. Your pet allergy is caused by a defect in your immune system. It has problems telling the difference between harmless good guys and disease causing bad guys. Your immune system is constantly battling enemies that don’t exist. So make sure your immune system is ready

Do you also have a cat? The protein that causes the allergy is stronger in cats than in dogs and most of these tips will help with them as well. People may react more to the dusty litter or animal bedding than to the cat or gerbil itself. This is also a good reason to have someone else take on the pet cleaning duties, so you can avoid exposure.

 

Do allergies go away over time??

Angelica
Angelica

Allergic reactions can change over time, even disappearing with some people. A lot of allergies that we get as children, can be outgrown, but on the other side of that they could come back later in life only worse. As a child I was allergic to cats and milk, I outgrew them both for many years only to have them back worse as an adult. While I can tolerate and use medicine to be around a cat for short times, I can never consume a milk product, makes me sad, I miss cottage cheese and lasagna.

 

How do I make my allergies go away or at least tolerable??

 

  • Drink more water. Stay well hydrated.
  • Eat Healthy foods to ensure all your vitamins and minerals your body needs to fight.
  • Rinse your sinuses out with a saline spray once or twice a day.
  • Rinse out sinus cavities with NeilMed Saline irrigation system once or twice a day.
  • Close windows; to keep out the allergens from coming indoors.
  • Take antihistamines.
  • Consider alternative treatments such all allergy shots.
  • Wash your hands more often especially after being outside, handling the pet, toys, bed, etc.
  • Wear a mask when working around the house or outside.
  • Do not sleep in the same room with your pet or allow them in there. Your bed is full of fibers just waiting to grab onto that dog allergen and never let go. Sleep is a time for your body to rest and recover from the day’s stresses and exposures to chemical and biologic bugs if you have allergies, this time is crucial to maintaining your immune system. If you are allergic to your pet, you can’t afford to spend 7 to 8 hours with a continued exposure while you sleep.
  • Put allergy-proof zippered covers on your mattress and pillows to keep them allergen-free. This will help with more than just pet allergies.
  • Install a good air cleaner with a HEPA filter. Two from Holmes that really help me are located here and here. If you have central heating and air conditioning make sure they have HEPA filter air cleaners.
  • Use of a humidifier. You should try to keep your humidity between 45-55%.
  • Close heating ducts to bedrooms allergens fall into the ducts and blow throughout when turned back on
  • Remove carpeting, cloth furniture and pet’s fluffy bedding for easier cleaning. Or consider keep them clean by vacuuming very frequently
  • Clean and or vacuum regularly. This includes all curtains and hiding places that dander will hide. If needed, wear a mask to keep from breathing all the dust. Dust high then low and save floors for last. Don’t forget baseboards, window sills, decorative molding and under appliances.
  • Bathe your pet at least once a week with a shampoo designed to help dry skin. One with oatmeal is good for their skin; I use this one from Hartz. Do not use human shampoo or dish washing liquid. These will dry the skin and expose you to more allergens. Plus your dog will itch.
  • Do not allow your pet on the furniture.
  • Do not allow your pet in your car. (Or use Install washable seat covers when your pet is in the car.) Wash them and vacuum once a week if you pet rides with you.
  • Brush your pet daily (preferable outside if you can or wear a mask) and use an allergy-reducing spray such as *Allerpet it helps remove dander. If you are highly allergic to your dog, wear a mask while brushing your dog.
  • Dust with damp cloths. Even if you just spray your rag with a fragrance free all-purpose cleaner it will help particles adhere to the rag and prevent them from entering the air.

    Mocha
    Mocha
  • Clean pet toys to wash away allergens to reduce your exposure to these allergens make sure you wash your dog’s toys on a regular basis
  • Change clothes in the bathroom to keep from spreading allergens in your bedroom.
  • Wash dog bedding to remove allergens. Your pet’s bed is a huge place for their allergens being left behind. Your pet grooms itself on its bed, spreading the allergen from mouth to skin and fur. Pets tthen sheds that allergen, skin, and fur all over their bed.
  • Some people believe that salt lamps can be useful for reducing allergy symptoms. The idea is that the light bulb heats the salt so that negative ions are released into the air. The negative ions knock particulate matter like dust and other airborne substances to the floor so only clean air is at nose-level. Potential benefits include positively impacting allergy symptoms and reducing snoring.

 

 

What’s Cat Dander Consists Of??Affiliate disclosure 2

 

A well written article about cats from the
Spruce says this about being allergic to cats.
Fel D1 may come from the Latin Felis Domestica.
It is a glycoprotein found
in the cat’s sebaceous glands under the skin, and to a lesser degree in cats’
saliva, and urine. When a cat grooms his coat, the Fel D1 present in his saliva
lands on the cats’ skin and hairs, and, combined with the Fel D1 from the
sebaceous glands, creates a sort of “double whammy” to allergy
sufferers. Interestingly, the production of Fel D1 appears to be more or less
prolific in different types of cats. Whole cats, for example, will produce more
Fel D1 than a neutered cat would.

Male cats,
particularly unaltered ones, produce more allergens than female cats. Some cat
breeds produce substantially less Fel D1 than others.

 

How to help your pet help you.

  • Make sure your dog gets a diet rich in essential fats. These will work to keep your dog’s skin in top condition. Since that skin gets coated in the allergy-causing saliva on a regular basis, you want to make sure it stays on the dog as long as possible. If the skin is on the dog, you aren’t going to inhale it. Pets tthen needs a diet high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
  • Check the label of your dog food to see if it contains omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids or their sources
  • Sources of fatty acids are flax seed, canola, walnut, soybeans, chia, hemp, and fish
  • Change your dog food if you don’t see these ingredients on the label or start feeding supplements like Super Pure Omega 3 if your dog has dry skin
  • Give your dog a plenty to drink
  • Pets tthen needs plenty of fresh clean water to help dilute the proteins that form in the saliva. The more proteins, the more allergy causing baddies getting into the air and on you.
  • Keep a source of clean, fresh water available at all times.
  • Drop ice cubes in the bowl to keep water cool
  • Wash water bowls frequently
  • I have also used Avon’s SSS (Skin So Soft) products on their fur. There are many uses for this stuff to and maybe I’ll do a whole post on it soon. But it is good for animals coats and helps keep off fleas, even keeps away flies on horses.

 

Tips to help Rev Up your Immune System

  1. Get plenty of sleep (without the dog) and plenty means 7 to 8 hours.
  2. Drink plenty of water. In addition to tea, coffee, or juice you need water!
  3. Get the right nutrition (or add supplements when necessary).
  4. Exercise.
  5. Medications. Your doctor might recommend: Antihistamines, which block the effects of a chemical that triggers allergy symptoms; they’re sold over the counter. Although I don’t like taking medications, it’s often a quick solution. I just can’t find the right one. I take a combination of antihistamines and decongestants and it’s hard to find the right balance as one will dry everything up and the other helps it flow better. So finding the right medicine may take a while.
  6. Herbs. Butterbur sounds like a promising herb for hay fever. Medicines pack more punch, but if you want to use natural remedies for allergies, I have been reading on a product called Butterbur, it seems to be highly recommended for use for pollen allergies. I have not personally used this product yet, but am looking into it (it’s also supposed to ease a headache), according to Readers Digest and Health Ask, David Rakel, MD, founder and director of the University of Wisconsin Integrative Medicine Program, told WebMD some studies suggest it can be as effective for nasal symptoms as an antihistamine, with no accompanying sleepiness. (Keep in mind that the safety of long-term use hasn’t been studied.)
  7. Allergy shots are another option for people with allergies. Talk about the pros and cons with your doctor. These can take years to fully work.

 

Conclusion

Any pet is a big responsibility of love, time and money. If you have pet allergies, it’s an even harder, but not impossible. If you are willing to put in the extra effort, you could live comfortably with your pet and your pet allergies. Your furry little baby will love you for it. If you have any other tips or remedies that you used to help your pet allergies, please let me know, I would love to include them.

*This is a combination of several sites that have claimed to have used this product. I had never heard of it before today and have no knowledge on how well it works. I am highly considering this product and will do a review of it when I do. Allerpet® can help by cleaning a pet’s coat of dander and other allergens such as dried urine and saliva. After a thorough brushing to extract dead hair, put Allerpet on the animal’s coat it is said to not harm the pet or leave a residue on furniture or clothing. The product is a gentle, non-toxic and safe for use around small children, plants, and animals. Allerpet®/D is designed for dogs and Allerpet®/C is designed for cats, but can also be used on ferrets, rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, mice and other furry critters. Both products are available over the counter at pet products stores. Allerpet/D cleanses the hair of dander, saliva, and sebaceous gland secretions, the antigens considered to be the prime causes of allergic reactions to pets. It is non-toxic and completely safe to use on pets. As found on product description from Wal-Mart.

Written By

Lynda Y

I am the mother of 4 grown children that I am proud of and 6 beautiful grandchildren. I have the love and support of my wonderful soulmate Brian. He stands by me no matter how hard I am to handle and for that I am eternally grateful. With his encouragement and support it has pushed me to want to do better and has encouraged me in my writing and wanting to help others. I am a beginning blogger on allergies and a product reviewer. I write my blog because when I was diagnosed with allergies, I had no help on what I was to do. I want this to be a place people can discuss and learn together how to ease the burden of the allergy seasons, whether it is seasonal, indoor, outdoor or food and lucky me, I have some of each. I love the 80's, gardening, crafts and cooking. I enjoy DIY projects and taking things that others would throw out and making useful again. I enjoy going to the beach and relaxing or camping in the woods. I love the great outdoors, football and most of all I LOVE and am very PROUD of our US MILITARY men and women.

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2 Comments

  1. My daughter is allergic and when we had a labrador she skin would break often, besides the running nose, of course.
    I thought it had more to do with the fur than the saliva. Lesson learned.
    She has been insistently asking me to get another dog lately and I have been postponing this decision. it’s a major responsibility both towards the pet and her health.
    Reading the tips you just listed, is making me re-evaluate the whole situation. We’ll see, I’ll bookmark your post, sleep on it and read it again in the future.
    Thanks for the very valuable information.

    1. I am glad you enjoyed and got some good information. Lots of people think it’s the fur, and to a point, can be only because there can be dander attached. Pets are wonderful to have. you could always go around other pets too and see if she has less reactions to different types. It is a bit harder with pet allergies, but it can be done. Mine are both short haired and don’t shed as much which helps. I did forget to add this to my article, Flea season is a bit harder when they get them and scratch, then get a sore and lick the sore more, so make sure you keep their nails clipped and not to sharp. Walking on concrete or rocks will help round the nails out.  Good luck on your decision.

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