Allergies and pets: our advice for copingPosted on 04 May 2012
Many pets and horses are sadly given up to Blue Cross rehoming centres due to allergies. If you think you may have a pet allergy, check out our advice before deciding to rehome...
From cats to rats, so far this year we have had over 90 animals come into our centres due to an owner or family member being allergic.
But we also rehome pets to people with allergies - everyone is different and it all depends on finding the right match.
If you're thinking of taking on a pet, make sure you spend lots of time with the particular animal or breed type to check if you might be allergic.
- Don't assume you're allergic to pets - many people jump to this conclusion but make sure you get properly tested by the doctor first.
- All allergies are different so don't assume that just because you have a reaction to one pet, you're allergic to them all.
- Common pet allergies include sensitivity to pet hair, dander (skin), saliva or even sweat - which means some types of pet will be more suitable than others depending on the type of allergy.
- Some allergies can be temporary (e.g. during pregnancy or times of stress) so don't be too quick to give up a much loved pet.
- Some research suggests that you can reduce sensitivity to pets by introducing them to children at an early age.
- Some types of pets such as labradoodles and hairless cats are considered to be less likely to cause allergies than other pets, but because people can be allergic in different ways this isn’t always the case so it is always best for everyone in the family to spend time with a pet before rehoming them rather then buying a ‘designer’ breed assuming it will be ok.
- Pet owners with allergies should vacuum regularly and keep pets out of bedrooms.
Blue Cross has been dedicated to the health and happiness of pets since 1897. For more pet care tips, please visit our advice factsheets.