Why you can be allergic to dogs but not cats (myths vs reality)

Have you ever heard someone say;

I’m allergic to dogs, can I keep a cat?’

‘ Are cats better for people with allergies than dogs?’

‘ Are cats hypo-allergenic?’

Well, one direct answer to it would be I can’t say for sure. 

Why? 

Because there are so many species of dogs and cats and likewise allergies. You all must be familiar with the fact that there is no such animal species especially of these pet animals that is allergy-free. The same idea goes for allergies, that if one sensitive person stays safe with a pet, chances are the other allergic person will not with the same pet. 

Allergies are caused by multiple reasons from dust to pollen to animal’s fur, saliva, and their waste. All this comes down to the allergy that you have.

Understanding your Allergies

If you are allergic or have sensed your symptoms around our dog or a cat, then you are suffering from something termed as a pet allergy. Pet allergy is a reaction against the proteins which are present in the skin cells of animals specifically in their skin saliva or urine. Other than that, you may feel allergic symptoms like asthma when around pet furs.

The best way to understand whether you are allergic to dogs but not cats or not is to come across them a few times to check and if you observe your symptoms then it is better to not adopt any of those pets.

 The Allergy Agent Responsible 

 Next to the allergen itself, it is the pet owner’s weak immune system that worsens the situation. When the body meets the allergen, the body releases histamines to fight off the thought-so deadly cell. The result eventually is coughing, nasal congestion, chest stiffening and difficulty breathing.

It is observed that people who are allergic to pets will be allergic to the pet’s hair as well due to the protein cells that can get transferred from its urine, saliva, or blood. Thus, if there is a pet in the area, chances are that there may be allergens in there-be it a room, the air and on the furniture.

Now coming back to the real question.

Can you be allergic to dogs and not cats?

Yes, it can be possible that you are not allergic to cats despite being super un-tolerant of dogs.

Scientifically speaking, if you are sensitive to one furry animal, you’ll be reactive across every such species. But the situation becomes a bit different when we talk about cats and dogs. Apart from the cat’s small size, they, like dogs, produce dead skin cells. What’s problematic is the fact that the dog during its gene expression produces a protein in its body. Unlike the cat, when the dog grooms itself, the protein gets all over its fur and body. From thereon, its exposure is unstoppable.

That is the reason why you may not be allergic to cats. But if you are allergic to furs, then that will not be true.

Symptoms of Pet Allergies

To check If you are allergic to pets, make sure you look out for the following symptoms. These symptoms include;

  •         Nasal congestion
  •         Respiratory problems
  •         Difficulty in breathing
  •         Wheezing
  •         Rash in the throat, face and neck
  •         Runny nose
  •         Irritating eyes
  •         Swelling in the thyroid region

These are the general symptoms that people with metallurgies experience. If your situation or symptoms worsen, it is suggested seeking medical help as soon as possible.

Diagnosing a Pet Allergy

Professional diagnosis for pet allergy is generally based on the symptoms, medical history and your test report results. depending upon the situation the doctor may ask for a blood test or a skin test to observe an allergic reaction. Often times when dust or pollen allergy correlates with the pet allergy therefore a doctor may suggest you stay near a dog or pet and observe your condition.

Depending on the severity of the allergy, the doctor may advise you to stay away from pets, especially dogs and cats. On the other hand, people with mild allergies may keep a pet with them, but it is suggested to not let them get near your personal belongings. Shampooing and grooming the pet is also a must to neutralize your symptoms.

Treating a Pet Allergy

While it’s best for a person with pet allergy to avoid contact with pets and choose ones that have no feathers or furs. But there are some people who cannot give up on their pets. For them keeping the pet outside of the home is an option but there is still a chance of getting in contact with the Allergens. If you are one of those people who want to keep a pet no matter what happens, then it is suggested to look out for these following situations.

Keep your pets away from your bedrooms and personal items. Having a carpet can also worsen the situation, so make sure you are vacuum cleaning it every now and then.

While vacuuming the house, make sure you are wearing our mask or any cloth to keep away the emergence in the air from getting into your mouth/nose.

If your house uses an air conditioner or heating systems, then try cleaning and filtering them with an asthma and allergy free item.

Weekly shampooing and grooming the pet may also reduce the chance of allergens.

Coming and trimming the pet’s tender should be done outside the home by someone who is not allergic to the pet. You may take them to a professional grooming shop.

Well there is no guarantee that following these tips will make you allergy-free, but they can considerably. reduce the chances. Though the best option still remains to stay away from pets, but if you must have one, then take care of both yourself and the pet. And not forget regular consultations with your allergist and the pet’s vet.

That was it for today.

Till then, Happy Parenting!

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