Pet Allergies: Symptoms and Treatment

Get your pet allergies to behave.

Pet allergies are common.

But they don’t have to stop you from sharing life with your furry friends. There's nothing we love more than a snuggle with our furry friends. Unfortunately, those beloved snuggles can sometimes cause allergy symptoms. Did you know approximately 10-20% of the population worldwide has cat or dog allergies?  Pet allergies are really that common, but they don’t have to stop you from sharing a space with your furry friend.

What Are the Main Symptoms of a Pet Allergy?

The main symptoms of allergic rhinitis related to pets typically include sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, itchy skin, and itching around the nose, eyes, and throat. Some people with pet allergies may also experience asthma-related symptoms, such as wheezing, coughing, or difficulty breathing. Therefore, they may require medical advice and guidance, as well as a thorough diagnosis.2

What Triggers Pet Allergies?

People with pet allergies have oversensitive immune systems which react to harmless proteins — or allergens — in an animal’s urine, saliva, or dander (skin flakes). These allergens can cling to and collect on furniture, clothing, and other surfaces. Pet hair itself is not an allergen. And there are no hypoallergenic animals, not even hairless ones.3

What Causes an Allergic Response?

Allergies happen because the immune system treats otherwise-harmless proteins as allergens, which your body considers a threat and reacts to fight it. It will start creating antibodies and histamines to fight it.

Allergies to Cats

Allergies to cats are twice as common as allergies to dogs and can range from very mild to severe4. Symptoms can develop very quickly or sometimes take hours to appear, depending on an individual’s sensitivity. If you’re unsure if you have a cat allergy or need cat allergy treatment, we recommend visiting your GP who can conduct tests and provide a diagnosis.

How Can We Cope with Allergies to Dogs?

First and foremost, there are no hypoallergenic dog breeds. Some may cause fewer allergies than others, but all of them distribute allergens around the home. Best thing to practice is avoidance. Don't pet or hug the dog and if you do, wash your hands with soap and water quickly afterwards. If you have a dog at home, keep the dog out of your bedroom and ensure regular weekly baths to reduce airborne dog allergen.

Pet Allergy Treatment

You can minimise allergens by keeping your house nice and clean. A big step in fighting pet allergies is to make your house more liveable for you and less hospitable for allergens:

  • Bathe your pets at least once a week
  • Invest in an air purifier with a certified allergy and asthma filter
  • Keep pets out of the bedroom
  • Wash your hands with soap routinely throughout the day, especially after petting or touching your pet or it’s bedding
  • Vacuum frequently

If you don't have a pet but are considering adopting or buying one, make sure you don't have pet allergies before making the commitment. Learn how to take an allergy test here.


Allevia 120mg tablets contain fexofenadine. For the symptomatic relief of allergic rhinitis. Always read the label.

MAT-XU-2304443 (v1.0) December 2023

Allevia® Allergy is here to help

Allevia® is here to help.

Get relief from your allergies and get back to enjoying life with your furry friends.

    1. Chan, Sanny K, and Donald Y M Leung. “Dog and Cat Allergies: Current State of Diagnostic Approaches and Challenges.” Allergy, asthma & immunology research vol. 10,2 (2018): 97- 105. doi:10.4168/aair.2018.10.2.97
    2. Mayo Clinic, Pet Allergy – Symptoms and Causes, Last accessed September 2023
    3. Cleveland Clinic, Pet Allergies, Last accessed September 2023
    4. Allergy UK, Cat Allergies Last accessed September 2023