What Causes Pet Allergies?

Why do certain animals trigger allergy symptoms?

Despite what many people may think, fur is not the culprit.

Pet allergies are not caused by fur, but by proteins found in animal dander, saliva or urine . Floating animal dander (dead skin flakes) is a common source of pet allergies, and an animal only needs to be in a house for a few weeks to produce enough dander to cause an allergic reaction.

Are dogs and cats really your best friend?

Some breeds of dogs are less allergenic than others but all dogs and cats can cause allergic reaction. These even include the hairless variety; all shed dander.

  • Pet birds
  • Rabbits
  • Rodents

And before you bring home any so-called "safe" animals, keep in mind that there's no such thing as a hypo-allergenic, fur-bearing pet. That's because dander still can accumulate in your home, only triggering an allergic response once it's reached critical levels.

Allergy-friendly pets

If you or a family member experiences severe allergic symptoms due to animal allergens, a possible choice for a pet could be tropical fish or any amphibious creature. Talk to your allergist for more information.

Black puppy looking upwards