Allergies to pets are common in Australia & New Zealand and are usually as a result of a reaction to certain proteins in their hair, skin flakes, saliva or urine.
What are the symptoms?
Pet allergies trigger inflammation in the eyes and airways so look out for the following symptoms after direct exposure:
Which animals spark allergies?
Allergies to cats and dogs are the most common. However, it’s also possible to develop allergies to other animals such as rats and mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, hamsters, horses, birds and poultry.
Adverse reactions to rodents, in particular, are becoming more common in inner cities due to the infestation of rats and mice in homes and their increasing popularity as pets.
What to do to reduce your symptoms
It can be difficult to avoid pet dander, especially because it travels so easily. However, there are some things you can do to reduce your exposure:
1. Avoid - If you have an allergy, your best option is to stay away from pets altogether. Keep out them out of your home and try to avoid places that house the animals that spark your symptoms.
2. Choose wisely - Choose a pet without fur or feathers, like a fish, snake or turtle. Some people with allergies to dogs may also be less sensitive to some breeds.
3. Keep minimal contact - If you do have a pet at home, minimise your exposure. Keep your pet outdoors or away from areas you frequent (particularly your bedroom).
4. Keep it clean - Animal allergens stick to surfaces so keep your home clean and tidy. Where possible, opt for timber or concrete floors and keep your walls bare. If you can't avoid carpet, choose one with a low pile and steam clean on a regular basis.
5. Protect yourself - Wear a dust mask when vacuuming and stay away from air heating and conditioning, which can move allergens around in the air.
6. Keep your pet clean - Wash your pet at least once a week and brush or clean the litter box outside.
7. Try an air cleaner - An air filter can reduce animal allergens in the air when used for at least four hours a day.
8. Try PAT – The Naturopaths at HWA use a form of muscle testing (or kinesiology) to discover which food or environmental substances may be contributing to your child's symptoms. We then perform a natural allergy treatment which aims to reduce their reactions, called Positive Association Technique (PAT).
PAT is a non-invasive holistic therapy, which:
This blog is intended as general information only. PAT cannot diagnose or cure allergies – it is intended to decrease reactions and help manage symptoms. It is not intended to raise unrealistic expectations. If symptoms persist, consult your GP.