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Overcome Animal Allergies to Co Exist with House Pets

Allergies are often said to be the disease of civilization. Reactions to dust and pollen, to bug stings and some types of products all complicate our life and make us look for ways to correct it. In this regard allergies to animals can be a real problem for their owners.


Home and farm animals can be the source of allergies. Often allergies to animals are caused by an animal’s fur or hair, but that isn't always the case. Much more often the reason for an allergy is an animal’s dandruff, spittle, urine, feathers and fluff and other natural results of vital functions.


Choosing a home friend


What animals can live with a person who has allergies?


  • The safest animals for highly allergic people are animals that don’t produce large amounts of waste and don’t secrete bodily fluids into the environment around them. These animals are fish and reptiles. But very often, feed for these animals can provoke allergies.
  • American geneticists are working to create a new breed of hypoallergenic cat. If successful, we will see the first hypoallergenic cats by 2007 for prices around $3,500. At the time being, however, cat breeds known as hypoallergenic are no more than promotional canard.
  • Rodents living in cages or aquariums shed their hair in the limited space of their cages, but for people suffering from allergies there can be another danger: coming in contact with urine and feces when cleaning the cage.
  • Feathers and fluff of birds will spread all over the house even if birds constantly live in a cage. This means additional litter in a house and becomes a wonderful environment for ticks.
  • People suffering from allergies that are thinking about getting a cat or dog should choose their pet from more unusual breeds, namely naked cats (sphinxes) and non-hairy dogs (Mexican naked and Chinese crested). The lack of hair decreases spreading of vital activity products around the house and prevents dust concentration on the animal. But as a compensation for the lack of hair coetaneous glands of naked animals are more active – such animals sweat and grease more often than animals of usual breeds and therefore require more frequent washing.
  • In spite of rather dense, long hair, many dog breeds with coarse hair (terriers, for example) are quite suitable for highly allergic people since these dogs practically don't shed hair at all. If you regularly visit a hairdressing salon for your dog for washing and trimming, you can reduce the quantity of allergen to the minimum.
  • Another consideration is a breed with modified hair. Among cats, these are known as Rex cats with soft and short wavy hair. Among dogs they’re called Yorkshire terriers with satin hair which is similar to human hair by structure, and also poodles and Belington-terriers. Such breeds don't shed their soft hair but these animals do need frequent trimming.


Allergy manifestations are often difficult to forecast. Often a person suffering from a rash in the presence of a naked sphinx has a Siberian cat at home.


In special cases


  • Quite often, allergy symptoms appear only in the pubescent period of an animal, on urinary marks, or upon secretion of a female dog in heat. In this case it is most likely necessary to sterilize or castrate the animal.
  • If you don't take proper care of an animal, if its feed is not of a good quality, or if your animal becomes ill, then the result will be intensive shedding. It will significantly increase the number of allergens in environment. It is dangerous for people suffering from allergies to take in an animal with inherited susceptibility to skin illness. It is well worth reading about the common diseases to the breed and asking the breeder about the health of the animal’s ancestors.


Practical approach


After having identified the type and breed of the animal you want to obtain, go to a doctor and take an allergy test. However, realize that standard allergy tests are not always completely accurate, as allergens used in these tests are taken from out bred animals from a vivarium. Allergens still have certain breed peculiarities. In some allergy centers it is possible to take a test individually prepared if you have a sample from the type of animal that you like.
Another sure way to discover allergic reactions from an animal is to talk with the owner and spend some time in his home. During this time you should pet the animal and keep it close to you.


Take precaution—you should have an antihistamine with you incase of an allergic reaction.


If after a close encounter with the animal you feel no allergic reaction,

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