Hypoallergenic Pets: Myth or Fact?

A dog is a man's best friend. But sometimes that best friend is a major trigger for your allergies. As reported in a peer reviewed study coauthored by Dr. Bielory, that sensitivity to pets has increased five fold from 1976 though 1994 and now as many as three in ten people in the United States have dog or cat allergies. 

Pet allergies are usually caused by an over-sensitive immune system. The main job of the immune system is to prevent foreign substances from entering and taking over the body. People with over-sensitive immune systems react to harmless substances, including the protein found in the pet's urine, saliva, or dry skin.

So, are hypoallergenic pets real? The answer is no. Although there are some breeds that will lessen the reaction to the allergens, all dogs and cats still house allergens. Because hypoallergenic pets don't shed, the dander (dry skin) is not released into the air when they shed unlike a regular pet. But even though hypoallergenic dogs don't shed, it doesn't mean they are completely free of allergens.

If you are allergic to pets and own one, here are a few things you can do to make life as a pet-owner easier:

1) Keep your pet away from the bedroom. Having the pet in your bedroom, where you spend most of your time, will increase the likeness of allergic reactions.

2) Stay away from carpets and rugs. Carpets and rugs are known for housing all kinds of bacteria and allergens. Having these in the house will attract the allergens, increasing allergy symptoms.

3) Give your pet a bath. Bathing your pet weekly will help remove the dander and allergens from its hair. But, as previously stated in Dr. Bielory's Eye Allergy blog, your allergy symptoms may get worse when grooming your pet, so it's best to find someone to help you.

4) Stick to smaller pets. Smaller pets are less likely to shed than bigger ones reducing allergy symptoms.

5) Keep your pet outside. Keeping your pet outdoors for parts of the day will help reduce the amount of allergens in your home. Of course, only if the weather permits!

6) Use Sinusol® Breathe Easy to help relieve nasal and sinus symptoms including congestion, sneezing, post nasal drip, coughing, stuffy ears . 

Don't let your allergies get in the way of you and your pet. Take the necessary precautions to help reduce allergen exposure while still being able to spend time with your pet!