As temperatures begin to drop in New York, expect pet allergies to rise. More pets are being kept indoors to avoid harsh weather conditions. So, you may experience coughing and sneezing while indoors. Pet allergies also cause itchy eyes and asthma symptoms leaving you miserable even inside your own home.
Cats and dogs are the main culprits of pet allergies, but there are other animals that cause allergic reactions. Even short-haired or hairless animals trigger allergies. That’s why we have six allergy centers throughout NYC to care for you. The allergists at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers are here to help you manage your pet allergies.
Common Pet Allergies
Cat and dog allergies are the most common, but more people are allergic to cats than dogs. In fact, cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies. Most people believe that it is the pet’s fur that causes a reaction. However, people with cat or dog allergies are usually allergic to proteins in the pet’s saliva, urine, and dander.
This is also true of rabbits and small rodents including mice, hamsters, and gerbils. The urine of rodents like gerbils, mice, and hamsters has chemicals some people are allergic to. So if you’re experiencing allergy symptoms while waiting for the train, small rodents may be the culprit.
New York also has many birds that trigger a reaction. Mites that live in bird feathers are a common allergen. Also, the fine dust in droppings can trigger a reaction, too. This includes droppings from horses as well. While rare the allergen in horse dander can cause a life-threatening reaction in some people. Children are most at risk of developing this allergy.
Tips For Managing Pet Allergies
We understand that oftentimes, it is difficult to avoid pets and other animals. Whether you have pets in your home or your friends and family have them, you should know how to manage pet allergies. Here are some tips to get you through this season:
- Keep your pets out of your bedroom. You should have a space that is considered a no-pet zone.
- Bathe your pet once a week. Brushing and grooming often can help get rid of dander.
- Vacuum often if you have carpet in your home. It’s helpful to have a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter.
- Swap carpets for hardwood floors. Dander, urine, and saliva are easier to eliminate on hardwood floors.
- Get an air purifier. Air purifiers help eliminate allergens in the air.
Best Pet Allergy Treatments
There are several options to treat pet allergy symptoms. For short term relief, you can use antihistamines and decongestants. These are daily medications that provide relief for about 24 hours. They come in the form of pills, sprays, and eye drops. Ask our allergy specialists which type of antihistamine or decongestant is best for your symptoms.
If you want a more long term solution, we recommend allergy shots. Allergy shots are administered at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers and cause your immune system to become less and less sensitive to pet allergens. If you suffer from severe pet allergies, you are a great candidate for allergy shots. Book a one-on-one consultation with one of our NYC allergists to learn more about this treatment or to get started today.