For many, pets are an essential part of life; there’s no ifs, ands, or buts about having a dog, cat, hamster, or other favorite pet at home or on the farm. Realizing you, or a member of your family, have a pet allergy can put a big damper on these dreams and your lifestyle. 

Myth buster: It’s not the animals’ fur that causes symptoms. It’s their dander – or flaky skin – that can end up in the fur as well as in their saliva that cause your allergic reaction. When exposed, those who are allergic can experience:

  • Watery, red and/or itchy eyes
  • Nasal and sinus congestion
  • Sneezing or runny nose
  • Skin rash
  • Exacerbated asthma

An internet search can provide a variety of ideas for lowering these pet allergy symptoms. There are new pet foods emerging that aim to eliminate the allergenic proteins in pets. Some pet owners take extra measures to clean their pets, use special shampoos, or amp up their everyday cleaning protocol to eliminate the spread of dander. And of course, there are a variety of medications aimed to help reduce symptoms temporarily. While all of these things may help you live with your pet, they may not help with every pet. Treating the cause of your allergy with allergy immunotherapy can provide benefits beyond symptom relief. 

Provides broad tolerance

Arguably the biggest benefit for animal lovers is that by treating the cause of your cat allergy, you’re building tolerance to not only your cat, but other cats too. The same goes for allergies to dogs, horses, or other furry friends that are treatable with immunotherapy.

Immunotherapy works by slowly introducing your body to your offending allergens. Over time, doses  increase until tolerance is built, usually taking three to five years. There are two forms of immunotherapy for pet allergies – allergy shots and allergy drops. Allergychoices advocates allergy drop treatment following the La Crosse Method Protocol. It’s a safe, effective, and affordable option for treating not only pet allergy, but other environmental and food allergies at the same time. 

Cost effective and long-lasting

Trying to manage your animal allergy symptoms can be expensive. A variety of products are available to try to eliminate symptoms and the amount of dander in the home, including: 

  • Antihistamines
  • Vacuum and vacuum bags
  • Special shampoos and foods
  • Cleaning supplies

These measures will be needed, as long as you have exposure to animals, to help keep symptoms and dander under control. When you treat the cause of your allergy, your body is trained to not react to pet dander, so the results can be long-lasting. Typically, treatment takes 3-5 years to complete – a short-term cost for long-lasting results.

New opportunities

When you build broad tolerance to your pet allergies, you can be around not only your pet, but other animals too. Imagine the opportunities that arise when you have the ability to be around a variety of pets:

  • Pet sitting
  • Visiting friends or family who have pets at home
  • New job opportunities: veterinary services, farming, pet grooming
  • Trying new hobbies, like horseback riding
  • Volunteering at a local animal shelter

Ready to treat the cause of your pet allergy? Find a provider near you that offers allergy drops for environmental allergies, including pets. 

By Taylor Pasell, Allergychoices