Pet allergies 101
You may be surprised to learn that fur isn't really the cause of pet allergies. Pet dander—dead skin cells and dried proteins from an animal's skin glands, saliva or urine—is actually the culprit.
Dander is produced by any pet with feathers or fur and is released into the air when the pet sheds or grooms itself. This airborne dander settles onto carpets, furniture and other surfaces throughout the home.
When you come into contact with dander, it may cause milder symptoms such as watery eyes and a runny nose. Or it could cause more severe symptoms, like asthma or anaphylactic shock.
If you have mild pet allergies, you can still own a pet. Just be prepared to make a few adjustments.
Plan to keep the places you eat and sleep pet-free. And invest in a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter and HEPA vacuum and try to vacuum every day. Then bathe and groom your pet weekly—it’s good for your health and your pet’s, too. You can also help manage your symptoms through over-the-counter or prescribed medications.