4 Common Myths and Misconceptions about Pet Allergies

Most people have their own theories about pet allergies. But you’d be surprised at how many of the things we believe to be fact are absolutely wrong. In this article, we’re going to expose some of the common myths and misconceptions about pet allergies and dispel them once and for all.

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Hair is the Root of the Problem

If you asked the majority of people who are either allergic to cats or had to deal with allergic people, they will most likely hold the belief that pet hair is at cause when it comes to allergies. Well, this is not entirely true. When pets, especially cats, are long haired, they tend to cause more reactions. But the hair is not why people develop allergies in cats, it’s the pet’s proteins that are to blame.

Long haired animals just have more surface for those proteins to attach themselves and become carriers. But pet hair alone is not at cause here. These pet proteins can be found in your pet’s saliva, skin cells and urine, and some of them attach themselves to the hair, which leads to allergic reactions. Which brings us to our next myth.

Hairless Pets Don’t Cause Allergies

This is another very common myth about pet allergies. As we said earlier, hair is not the main culprit when it comes to allergies, pet protein is. Pet protein can still attach itself to furniture and travel into the air, even if the animal is hairless. In the case of cats, dander is the main source of allergens and doesn’t need hair to propagate itself.

If You Spend Enough Time Around the Animal, You Will Adapt Yourself to Them

Myth! And not only is this one completely false, it can actually create the opposite reaction. Most people who have had to deal with allergies as children will tell you that allergies do not get better as they get older, they actually get worse. This is a fact that has been proven by the Australasian Clinical Immunology & Allergy Society.

However, if you take non allergic children and expose them to pets early in their lives, they are much less prone to develop an allergy. One particular study found that children that were exposed to cats from the age of one were 67% less prone to developing an allergy later on in their lives.

You Shouldn’t Get Affected by Allergies Outside the Home

Again, not true. Pet protein and animal dander can attach itself to clothing and a variety of fabrics due to its microscopic size. Anybody can be a carrier of pet particles and pet allergens can be found everywhere from classrooms, to hospitals, public transit, etc. So, if you’re having allergic reactions around a known pet owner, this might be the cause.

As you can see, many of the beliefs we have about pet allergies are not only wrong, but they might actually cause more harm than good. So, if you believe you might have allergies or have children who do, make sure that you do your research and learn the truth.