More than half of U.S. households include a member of the dog or cat family, yet millions of people suffer from pet allergies. Do you know your pet allergy fact or fiction?
Take this quiz to test your knowledge!
- Which of the following breeds is proven to be a hypoallergenic (less allergic) dog?
d. All of the above
e. None of the above
- Pet allergies are triggered by the hair on a pet.
- Symptoms of pet allergy are similar to hay fever symptoms.
- Reptiles are a common cause of pet allergy.
- If you are allergic to pets, you can have symptoms even when the pet is not in the room.
- Pet allergy is a form of allergic rhinitis.
- Which of these will not necessarily help minimize symptoms if you are allergic to pets?
a. Try not to hug or kiss pets
b. Keep your pets out of bedrooms
c. Use a double or micro-filter bag in your vacuum cleaner
d. Keep your pets outdoors
- There is no proven long-term treatment for pet allergies.
1. E. None of the above. While some breeds are labeled “hypoallergenic,” no dog is 100% free from the allergens that can cause pet allergy. There are many groups marketing that they have genetically engineered “hypoallergenic pets,” but this has not been proved by any legitimate scientific evidence.
2. B. False. Pet allergies are caused by an allergen found on the pet’s skin (dander), saliva or urine.
3. A. True. Pet allergy symptoms can include sneezing, coughing, runny nose, scratchy throat or mouth, or itchy, red or watering eyes. For some people with allergic asthma, being around a pet can trigger wheezing or difficulty breathing.
4. B. False. That is rare. Pet allergies are most common among dogs, cats, rodents and other animals with fur.
5. A. True. Pet allergens can collect on upholstered furniture, carpet, linens and clothing. For those with mild pet allergy, regular cleaning can help reduce symptoms. Other tips include replacing carpeting with hardwood floors, keeping pets out of bedrooms, and use of HEPA air purifiers and filtering products.
6. A. True. Allergic rhinitis is the medical term for a group of allergies that typically cause symptoms in the nose, throat, eyes, ears, skin and roof of the mouth. There are two types of allergic rhinitis. Seasonal allergic rhinitis, often referred to as hay fever, is typically caused by outdoor allergens such as pollen from trees, grasses and weeds. Perennial allergic rhinitis occurs year-round. It is usually triggered by allergens such as pet dander or dust mites.
7. D. Keep your pets outdoors. While keeping animals outside may make a slight improvement, pet dander will eventually find its way indoors on clothing or shoes.
8. B. False. Allergy shots therapy (immunotherapy) has a proven track record as an effective form of long-term treatment that can significantly reduce and potentially eliminate your pet allergy. It can also reduce or eliminate asthma symptoms that are triggered by your pets. The philosophy is: why get rid of your pet when you can get rid of the allergy?
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