Can Dogs Suffer From Cat Allergies?
Having a pet is a great way to bring joy and companionship into your life. But pet allergies can put a damper on this joy. You may be wondering if dogs, who are known for their love of humans, are susceptible to cat allergies, and the answer is yes. In fact, any animal that produces allergens in their saliva, urine, and skin dander can cause an allergy, including cats. Knowing the signs of an allergy in your pup can help you provide him with the best possible care, so let’s explore more about dog allergies caused by cats.
What are the Symptoms of Cat Allergies in Dogs?
Many pet owners are not aware that cats and dogs can suffer from allergies, even if they come from different species. Dog allergies caused by cats are possible and tend to occur when the animal is exposed to proteins in the cat’s saliva, dander or urine. If your dog is allergic to cats it can cause a number of uncomfortable physical symptoms.
The most common symptom of a cat allergy in dogs is itching and skin irritation. The area around your dog’s eyes can become swollen and red and their face smothered in bumps. Your dog will likely be excessively scratching themselves which can cause further irritation and leave the skin broken and infected if left untreated. Furthermore, rashes, excessive licking and hair loss may also occur as a result of allergy related itchiness.
Another common sign of cat allergy in dogs is sneezing and coughing. This makes sense given that these substances enter through the nose and mouth, causing respiratory issues in sensitive canines. A dog with a cat allergy might also suffer from eye discharge and even experience difficulty breathing.
If you suspect your dog has allergies sparked by cats, it’s best to take them for a professional medical assessment. Veterinarian will ask about any recent contact with cats and then run tests to positively diagnose an animal allergy. Treatment plans typically involve changing up their diet and administering medications, such as antihistamines. Additionally, if your family features a cat, keeping them separate from each other via closed doors and other boundaries will help to alleviate the symptoms in your pup.
Can Dogs be Tested for Cat Allergies?
When it comes to allergies, dogs and cats can cause varying reactions. While pet owners may love their four-legged friends and want them to be together, allergies may prevent that. For this reason, many people wonder if it’s possible to test a dog for cat allergies.
The simple answer is yes, canine allergy testing can be done in order to determine a dog’s sensitivity to cat allergens. The testing process typically involves a skin prick test or a blood test that measures the number of IgE (immunoglobulin E) antibodies present in the dog’s system. If a dog has cat related allergies, his immune system will have produced these particular antibodies in order to try to protect the animal from the irritants associated with cats.
While the skin and blood tests are effective at distinguishing between environmental allergies, seasonal allergies, and food allergies, the results may not be accurate enough to determine the exact source of an allergic reaction. In some cases, additional testing may be required in order to establish a definitive diagnosis.
Even when the results from the tests show that a dog has cat allergies, pet owners still need to be aware that there could be other factors involved, so it’s important to get the proper medical care to keep the dog healthy. Additionally, to reduce possible allergic reactions, those with pets should take steps such as keeping both animals separated, washing frequently, and using air purifiers.
Treatment Options for Dogs With Cat Allergies
Living with a dog allergy can be a challenge for both owners and their furry friends, as it means avoiding activities such as playing in the park, snuggling in bed, or simply getting close to cats. Fortunately, there are treatment options available to help make life easier for dogs with cat allergies.
One of the most popular treatment options for cat allergies is medication. Anti-histamines, corticosteroids and other medications may be prescribed by your veterinarian to reduce the symptoms associated with the allergy. It’s important to closely follow the dosage instructions your vet provides to reduce the chance of an adverse reaction.
Another option for treating a cat allergy is immunotherapy (allergy shots). Allergy shots work by slowly introducing a tiny amount of the cat allergen into the body over time. This process desensitizes the immune system to the allergen, ultimately reducing the allergic reaction. The process can take several weeks to a few months and will require regular visits to the vet.
Finally, lifestyle changes may also have a positive impact on a dog’s overall health. Owners must create a low-allergen environment and regularly bathe their pets to reduce the exposure to allergens. If possible, keeping cats out of the house is recommended, but if this isn’t feasible, then any steps taken to reduce the amount of dander being produced will be helpful. Providing ample space for the pet to exercise and unwind can also help to reduce stress levels, as stress can often worsen the symptoms of an allergy.
By combining medication, immunotherapy, and lifestyle changes, dogs with cat allergies can live comfortably and enjoy the same activities as other dogs.
How to Prevent Dogs from Developing Cat Allergies
As dogs and cats often come from the same litter, one could assume that they would also have similar allergies. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Dogs can be susceptible to developing allergies to cats and other animals, just like humans do. Fortunately, there are some steps that pet owners can take to help reduce the risk of their canine friends developing allergies to cats.
First, it is important to ensure that your dog receives a balanced, high-quality diet, as this will help to keep them healthy and their immune system strong, thus helping to protect them from potentially allergenic substances. Furthermore, try to avoid exposing your pup to secondhand smoke, as this can increase their chances of developing sensitivities. Additionally, as much as possible, minimize their contact with outdoor cats and make sure to bathe your pup regularly, so to remove any allergens they may have accumulated while outside.
If you’re adopting a new cat, it may be wise to introduce them to your pup gradually. Start by leaving the door open between rooms, so the animals have time to get acclimated without actually interacting face-to-face. After they’ve been given ample opportunity to become familiar with one another, then they can be allowed to interact.
By taking some preventative measures, pet owners should be able to minimize the chance of their pup developing any kind of allergy. With that said, even if proper precautions are taken, unexpected sensitivities still may arise. In instances where major symptoms begin manifesting, pet owners should consider seeking medical advice from an experienced veterinarian.
While there are some similarities between dog and cat allergies, dogs cannot suffer from cat allergies. Allergies to cats in general, either in humans or pets, are more likely to be the result of an allergic reaction to a common airborne allergen that both cats and dogs may carry on their fur or dander, such as pollen, dust mites, or mold. The best way to prevent allergic reactions to cats and dogs is to limit exposure to these allergens and keep pet-friendly home maintenance routines regularly.