Having a pet when you have a pet allergy

Posted at 5:48 PM, Jun 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-20 08:51:20-04

ORLANDO, Fla. — In the U.S., as many as three in ten people with allergies are allergic to cats and dogs. And – cat allergies are about twice as common as dog allergies. But if you have a pet allergy, can you still safely keep your furry friend?

Kevin Hudson has had allergies his whole life.

Hudson told Ivanhoe, “They tested me, and I was allergic to pretty much everything.”

In addition to outdoor allergies, Hudson was highly allergic to cats but still had them in his childhood home.

“My mother loved cats, so there was always at least two or three, sometimes, four or five, cats in the house,” Hudson said

Living with an animal you’re allergic to is difficult – but not impossible. If you do have an allergy, you may still be able to live comfortably with your dog or cat. First – don’t let your pet in your bedroom a place where you spend about one-third of your life. Also use a high-efficiency HEPA air cleaner. Steam clean carpets regularly and wear a dust mask when you vacuum. Bathe your pet once a week to keep dander at bay.

“Over-the-counter antihistamines are very effective, and the nasal steroids are very effective for that particular problem,” Dr. Seth Johnson said.

But if your allergy causes breathing problems or is very severe, it is time to say goodbye to your pet. It's a hard decision, but it could be what's best for your health.

If you have to give up your pet, first ask your close friends or family members if they would be willing to take the animal. That will make the process easier for you – and the new owners, too.