Pet owners: Allergy symptoms might actually be caused by new furry friends

Local News

(WKBN) – Many of us took home a new pet during the pandemic, not realizing we may have some allergies.

First News told a lot of stories about pet adoptions increasing during the pandemic, but what a lot of people may not have known before bringing home their new dog or cat is that they could be allergic.

People who are allergic to their pets may develop some chronic allergy symptoms.

Dr. Sandra Hong with the Cleveland Clinic said typically if you are allergic to your pet, you’ll start by having classic allergy symptoms.

Then over time, chronic symptoms can start to develop. She said those symptoms can be similar to sinus infections or asthma symptoms.

“Typically when you live with something you’re allergic to, like a dog or a cat, you don’t get those acute symptoms of itchy, sneezy, drippy [noses] as much. You get more symptoms of stuffy [noses] and draining down the back of your throat,” Dr. Hong said.

Dr. Hong recommends visiting an allergist to figure out what exactly the cause is. It could be your new pet or it could be the pollen it’s bringing in on its fur after being outside.

If it turns out you are allergic to your new pet, there are some things you can do.

Dr. Hong said to keep pets in certain areas of the house. Allergy medications and shots are also an option. 

“The only tough thing is, for dogs, allergy shots just aren’t nearly as good as some of the other allergens,” Dr. Hong said. “For some reason, it just doesn’t work as well. The good thing is, if they have allergies and they improve all their other allergy [symptoms], it could improve their dog allergy symptoms.”

She said reducing dander is another option; you can try filters or replacing carpet with hardwood flooring.

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