How to tell if you are allergic to your pet

Pet allergy

Do you suspect that you may be allergic to your pet?

There are a number of things that can give us an allergic reaction. Sometimes it’s foods such as eggs, wheat, fish, nuts, and dairy products, or environmental allergens such as pollen, mould and dust.

But did you know that your own pet can give you an allergic reaction? This can be caused by the proteins found in a pet’s dander, skin flakes, saliva, and urine. Another cause could be outdoor allergens collected by the pet’s hair or fur.

Sadly, allergies cost the South African economy R606-million a year, with healthcare expenditure and lost productivity being the biggest contributing factors, Pharma Dynamics reports.

Allergic reactions often affect the skin, airways, sinuses, and gastrointestinal system.

So how can you tell if you are allergic to your pet?

If after playing with your pet, you experience any of the below symptoms, it may be a sign that you are allergic to them.

– Sneezing

– Runny nose

– Stuffy nose

– Coughing

– Chest tightness

– Shortness of breath and wheezing

– Watery, red or itchy eyes

– Skin rash

– Skin breaking out after being licked by your pet

– Hives

However, to be certain that you have a pet allergy, it is best to ask your doctor to run some allergy tests.

The good news is there are a number of remedies that can be taken to help with the allergy. Such remedies include getting allergy shots or nasal sprays. However, another solution may be to find your pet a new home or to minimize contact with the pet – which is really a last resort.