In the United States today, having an animal as a pet is extremely common. According to popular research, there are over 390 million pets are living with 67% of homes in America. Of the total population of pets living in America, dogs are found in at least 63 million homes while cats are found in at least 42 million homes. There are several million homes with both cats and dogs which makes people wonder if they can be allergic to dogs and not cats.
Sadly, even though we love both our cats and dogs, pet owners often complain of allergies being triggered by the fur of their pets. The good news that it is possible to be allergic to dogs and not cats. Unfortunately, the proteins are usually very similar and if you’re allergic to a dog you will likely allergic to a cat. In fact, most people are allergic to the dander carried in their animal’s fur rather than the cat or dog themselves. This is one of the main reasons that people are seeking out hypoallergenic or nonshedding cats and dogs.
What are cat and dog allergies?
When the human body senses a strange cell, it reacts and tries to protect itself from harm by releasing its cells to go defend the body – that is exactly how a cat or dog allergy starts. The body of a person who is allergic to cats or dogs can be triggered by pet dander, fur, or debris in their animal’s coat.
The human body will send cells and attack this strange cell which unfortunately isn’t as deadly as the body initially thought. Once the body senses the allergen, it releases histamines to go fight off the allergies. As a result, the person gets reactions that can come in different forms of nasal congestion, skin issues, or even respiratory problems. It is a reaction although allergic to proteins found in a dog’s skin cells, saliva, or possibly its urine.
Can you be allergic to dogs and not cats?
Both dogs and cats typically shed fur which releases a lot of pet dander. When a person is allergic to fur, it is typically a result of the kind of protein active in the pet fur or dander (dead skin). The protein present in the fur that causes or triggers the allergy is however different in composition in both dogs and cats. Therefore, it is possible that one per can be allergic to a dog and not a cat. It is also possible that someone can be allergic to cats and not dogs. However, chances are that if you are allergic to either a cat or a dog, you will be allergic to both.
Allergens from both cats and dogs are found in dead skin cells they shed called dander, as well as in their saliva, urine, sweat, and on their fur. Due to the miniature size of dander, it stays in the air and can remain airborne for a while. Pet dander can easily stick to surfaces furniture, shoes, and even clothes causing allergies.
Additionally, a dog’s body system releases F 1 in its saliva. This protein causes allergic reactions to people. However, unlike cats, the protein is not produced on the skin of the dog. However, when the dog licks its skin or fur, it spreads the protein from the saliva to the fur. So, the skin and fur end up coated in the protein.
Symptoms of Dog and Cat Allergies
If you are not sure whether you are allergic to cat or dog dander, below are some symptoms to look out for when trying to determine if you are allegoric to a pet:
- Runny nose
- Itchy eyes
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy nose, upper palate, or throat
- Swollen eyes
Once you notice any of the symptoms associated with a dog allergy, it is important that you visit a professional for help so that the allergies don’t get complicated and worsens your case. If you are no you are not sure whether you are allergic or not before buying your pet, see a professional also as there are tests that can be done.
Conclusion for Can You Be Allergic to Dogs and Not Cats?
You can be allergic to dogs and not cats. However, if you are allergic to a dog there is a good chance that you are allergic to a cat. Most people aren’t allergic to the animals themselves, but they are allergic to the dander that is carried in their fur. Additionally, some people may be allergic to their dog or cat’s saliva and fur.
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