Yes, pets can cause allergies but they are adorable and make their way into your hearts and families. We get it! It is true that the gold-standard treatment for pet allergy (or allergy in general) is avoidance or to remove the trigger – i.e. remove the pet from the home. In some settings, this is the best option for the patient and/or family. However, most families are attached to their pets and would rather get rid of their allergist than get rid of their pet. Often it is not (or even a consideration for that matter).
If the pet remains in the home, the most effective intervention is to remove the pet from the bedroom. Washing the pet frequently, twice a week, may be helpful but understandably, this can be burdensome and not always practical. The use of HEPA filters may provide some benefit. The most effective option for treating pet allergy, aside from avoidance, is allergen immunotherapy or allergy shots. All dogs and cats have the potential to cause allergy. Contrary to popular belief, there is actually no such thing as a “hypoallergenic dog” or hypoallergenic dog breeds. The particles responsible for allergy in cats are much smaller than those in dog and remain airborne for significant lengths of time. Pet allergy has the potential to cause severe allergy and asthma symptoms and should be taken seriously. We are here to help as best we can!