What triggers pet allergies?1

People with pet allergies have oversensitive immune systems which react to proteins — or allergens — in an animal’s urine, saliva, or dander (skin flakes). These allergens can cling to and collect on furniture, clothing, and other surfaces. Pet hair itself is not an allergen. And there are no hypoallergenic animals, not even hairless ones.2

What causes an allergic response?1

Allergies happen because the immune system treats otherwise-harmless proteins as allergens, which your body considers a threat. It will start creating antibodies and histamines to fight it. Allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, itchy/watery eyes, or an itchy throat are all attempts to flush allergens out of the body. 

What’s the story on allergies to cats?2

Allergies to cats are twice as common as allergies to dogs and can range from very mild to very severe. Symptoms can develop very quickly or sometimes take hours to appear. If you’re unsure if you have a cat allergy or need cat allergy treatment, we recommend visiting a health professional or immunologist who can conduct tests and provide a diagnosis.​​​​​

How can we cope with allergies to dogs?2

First and foremost, there are no hypoallergenic dog breeds. Some may cause fewer allergies than others, but all of them distribute allergens around the home. Best thing to do is avoid touching your eyes or face after coming into contact with a dog, and try to stay clear of their saliva.

An action plan for fighting pet allergies

You can minimize allergens by keeping your house nice and clean. A big step in fighting pet allergies is to make your house more livable2 for you and less hospitable for allergens:

  Bathe your pets at least once a week

  Choose carpet-free flooring to limit the buildup of dander

  Invest in an air purifier with a certified allergy and asthma filter

  Brush pets outdoors

  Keep pets out of the bedroom

  Wash your hands with soap routinely throughout the day

  Clean solid surfaces as often as possible

  Vacuum frequently

A young man holding a cat while standing inside.

Telfast® is here to help

Get fast* relief from your allergies and get back to enjoying life with your furry friends. Telfast is the #1 allergist-recommended non-drowsy brand.3* 

    1. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, Editors. Pet Allergy Are You Allergic to Dogs or Cats?, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (aafa.org), 2015.

    2. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, Editors. Pet Allergy, American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (acaai.org), 2018.

    3. Telfast Gulf PIL – last revised November 2020

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*Telfast® is the #1 allergist-recommended non-drowsy brand of adult oral antihistamines.