What Is Pet Dander and Does It Affect My Allergies?

Dander is a common allergen made up of tiny flakes and particles of skin from common household pets like cats, dogs, birds and rodents. Dander is harmless to adults and children who do not suffer from allergies, however people who sneeze and become congested around certain animals might be allergic. Pet allergies can range from mild to severe, with treatment options ranging from over the counterantihistamines, to prescription medication from an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor.

What You Need to Know About Dander and Pet Allergies

In addition to their skin, fur and feathers, animals like cats and dogs can also trigger allergic reactions in humans through proteins found in their saliva, urine and dried feces. So even the owner of a short haired or hairless cat may still experience an allergic reaction while cleaning out the cat litter or removing soiled newspaper from a dog's crate. Although many domestic animal breeds are marketed as non-allergenic alternatives, ENT specialists advise highly allergic adults or parents of children with allergies to exercise caution, given that allergens are not exclusive to fur and can still be found in the pet's saliva, regardless of their coat.

A few facts about dander and pet allergens according to the American Lung Association:

Symptoms of pet allergies:

In some cases, allergy symptoms can linger for weeks or months at a time. Consult an ENT doctor for severe symptoms that persist or do not resolve with over the counter treatment.

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