Pet Allergies

You can love your pets and still be allergic to them! Did you know that pets can be a source of discomfort and allergy symptoms in some individuals? The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology estimates that 10% of the population is allergic to animals, with cats and dogs being the most common allergens.

In San Antonio, pet allergies have become an important issue to address due to the prevalence of pets within households.

The proteins found in the skin cells, urine, and saliva of animals that come into contact with a human’s skin or are inhaled; result in pet allergies. It can cause the immune system to respond, resulting in symptoms such as sneezing, itching, nasal congestion, ocular discharge, and skin irritations.

What are the Most Common Pet Allergies?

It is not uncommon for pets to create allergenic substances. However, cats and dogs are the most frequent sources of pet-related allergens.

Other potential allergy-inducing animals include:

  • Rabbits
  • Birds
  • Rodents
  • Horses

Pet Allergy Symptoms


Pet dander may provoke an allergic response in the nasal passages, resulting in sneezing, nasal discharge, and nasal congestion.

Skin rash

When exposed to pet allergens, people with skin allergies may experience acute skin reactions, such as itching and skin rashes.

Itchy skin

Individuals with skin allergies or eczema can experience itching, redness, and swelling upon exposure to pet allergens.


Individuals with asthma may be susceptible to an asthma attack when exposed to pet allergens, which may result in coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.


Raised, itchy welts that may emerge on any area of the body may be a sign of an allergic response to pet dander, saliva, or urine, which triggers the release of histamine and can result in the formation of hives.

What Treatments Are Available for a Pet Allergy?

At Juniper Allergy, your physician may choose to conduct a skin or blood test to determine if an allergy to pets exists and may suggest OTC or prescription drugs, including antihistamines, decongestants, or nasal corticosteroids, to alleviate your symptoms.

In severe instances, your doctor may recommend consulting an allergist for comprehensive evaluation and treatment.

It is imperative to consult a medical professional immediately to diagnose and treat any pet allergy symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do pet allergies affect my body?

Pet allergies can lead to an immune response. An immune response is a physiological reaction to an allergenic substance.

Individuals with allergies may develop Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies upon initial exposure to a pet allergen. The immune system, each type specific to a certain kind of allergen, including pet allergens, produces these antibodies.

You may possess IgE antibodies that are reactive to a single allergen, or you may include IgE antibodies that are reactive to multiple allergens.

The antibodies detect the allergens present in your system and assist in their elimination through transportation to the mast cell (the allergy cell), binding to a specific receptor on the cell’s surface.

The attachment of the allergens to the receptor stimulates the release of histamine from the allergy cell, which is the causative agent of your allergy symptoms.

How does a doctor diagnose an animal/pet allergy?

Your healthcare provider may employ various allergy testing techniques to identify the cause of your pet’s allergy symptoms.

These assessments could comprise of:

  • Skin prick test
  • Blood (IgE) test
When to see a doctor?
It is advisable to consult a healthcare professional if you experience recurring pet allergy symptoms, significantly if those symptoms harm your daily routine.

Need Consultation?

Sufferers of pet allergies may find it challenging to identify the source of their immune system response. Contact Juniper Allergy’s healthcare provider if you are experiencing symptoms associated with pet allergies. We can help you differentiate between general illnesses and pet allergies.

You can consult an allergist to determine the source of the most severe allergic reaction.

Author: Dr. Amanda Trott, MD
NPI number: 1568653756
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