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Allergies to pets

Allergies to pets with fur are very common

3 out of 10 people have them

If you don't have a pet but are considering buying one, make sure you don't have pet allergies before making the commitment to care for one.

* Once you purchase a pet from us, it cannot be returned for a refund or credit*

It is entirely your responsibility to be aware of your allergies. When we agreed to sell you a pet we did so because you told us that you have done your research and are ready to bring home a pet. This would obviously include looking into whether you or someone else in the home suffers from allergies. 

We cannot help by inviting you into our home to see if you will have a reaction. We have several species of pets and all of them are furry and produce dander, so it would not be an accurate way for you to tell which animal you might be reacting to. Quite often it can take more exposure time than just a brief visit to learn whether you will have a reaction to the pet in question.

Most often we suspect that we might be allergic to something long before we are adults and sometimes we just need to rely on our gut feeling, when we decide to buy a pet. Being exposed to pets at an early age may help some people avoid pet allergies and some studies have found that children who live with pets during their first year of life may have better resistance to upper respiratory infections during childhood than kids who don't have a pet. This is not always the case. Sometimes we grow into and out of allergies.

If you are a person that suffers from allergies to pets with fur then you need to except the fact that there is NO SUCH THING as a hypoallergenic breed and for some of us there is NO SUCH THING as a hypoallergenic species.

We all react differently to all types of pets. In some cases, people with allergies to one type of pet will not react to other species. Some people with specific allergies may be more sensitive to some breeds or species of animals than to others.

I say “we“ because I have suffered from severe pet allergies and other allergies for my entire life. Some species such as cats and rabbits will cause me to react violently while others do not seem to bother me quite so much but nonetheless they still do affect me.

As a child, I suffered allergies. While being on a farm I was constantly exposed to several types of animals so it was hard for me to pin down and put the blame on one specific species. Throughout life, we always had several species that I could blame for my allergies but it was not until I went to an allergist as an adult that I learned the truth. After I had a phenomenal number of allergy tests, they revealed that there were not many species of pets that I was not allergic to.

We have always had a dog and after my previous dog died we decided to get another but this time we would get a standard poodle. We were hoping a poodle coat would make life a little easier. After all this is the breed of breeds as far as hypoallergenic dogs go. It is a breed that is promoted as being the one that is less likely to cause allergic reactions. Well, for the last 13 years I have been making a weekly contribution to the Kleenex fund and I panic if I am close to running out of allergy tabs. …THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A HYPOALLERGENIC BREED.

Allergens are what cause allergic reactions. An allergic reaction is an indication that your immune system is responding and attacking foreign substances in your body.

Allergens are present in the fur/hair, dander, saliva and urine that cats, dogs, birds. hedgehogs, mice, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, etc., produce. The dust from the bedding and litter or even dust from the pet’s food may also contribute to airborne allergens.

Having allergies is not fun, but life without pets is unimaginable for me. This is a choice and a decision I make for myself. You’ll need to decide what is right for your health but ultimately if you feel that you are likely to have allergic reaction to pets, you might want to avoid them. The choice is yours! Just remember that once you purchase a pet it is your responsibility to take care of it for the rest of its life.

A few things to consider that might make it easier when dealing with Allergies

If you are set on getting a pet and want to keep it forever, or if you already share your home with a pet there are a few things that you can try to do to help alleviate some of the things that trigger allergies.

  1. Choose a pet that you do not need to hold very often.
  2. If you like to hold your pet wear a smock and wash it regularly.
  3. Bathe your pet regularly and get a friend who does not have allergies to help or hire a groomer.
  4. Establish a pet-free zone and make sure that your bedroom is a pet free zone.
  5. Carpeting and fabric furnishings don’t mix. Don’t allow your pet on furnishings that are not easily wiped with a damp cloth.
  6. Ask for help when it is time to clean your pet's cage, toys, etc. Friends usually don’t mind helping take care of pets.
  7. Use high-efficiency HEPA filters on your furnace, vents, vacuums and fans and make sure you clean and replace these HEPA filters often. Use an air purifier - High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) purifiers and vent filters may help reduce airborne pet allergens. A Filter with a MERV rating of 11 is thought to be ideal to filter pet dander while not interfering with air flow efficiency. (MERV rating is a scale from 1 to 16. indicating the Minimum. Efficiency Reporting Value) for air filters we use in our homes.) Higher ratings are good for controlling dust but may nor as efficient because they may interrupt airflow. 
  8. Take your pet outside. If your pet can live comfortably outside, you can reduce the allergens in your home. This option isn't appropriate for most pets in Canada but living outside during the milder months helps.