Pet Allergens - Dog, Cat and Birds Hypoallergenic Pets
|by Natural Solutions Environmental, Inc.|
(with input from Harley (our mascot), and his little brother Elvis. Golden American Pure Breed Cocker Spaniels)
| Dog and Cat Allergens!|
Go to Birds!
|Two Common misconceptions:|
Wheezing, itching, and sneezing! This is what more than 30 percent of cat, dog and pet owners and their family who are allergic to their pets face. Pet allergens are a real problem for many people. To this day, people believe that they are allergic to their pets "hair". The fact of the matter is, pet hair itself is not the allergenic! It is a protein called Fel d 1 and ALL cats produce it, although in differing amounts. Dogs produce a protein called Can f 1.
These proteins Fel d 1(Felis domesticus - Cats) and Can f 1 (Canis familiaris - Dogs) are found in the saliva and skin of all cats and dogs respectively. It is constantly being shedded as an airborne particle and is one-tenth the size of a spec of dust. When a cat or dog grooms itself (licking their fur), some of the protein is transferred to the hair. When the hair is shedded, some becomes airborne and can become an irritant to the respiratory tract of individuals who suffer from asthma and other airway diseases. This is why people to this day will say they are allergic to pet hair. Pet hair is only a vehicle used by the pet protein (Fel d 1 and Can f 1) to get into the air.
Also, after a cat or dog has groomed itself (by licking their fur) and the saliva has dried, the protein becomes airborne itself. Because the particles are so tiny, they can actually hang in the air and stay suspended for very long periods of time. In some cases it has been found in the air of homes up to 6 months after the pet had been removed.
Because these proteins are sticky, they will adhere to porous materials such as carpets, furniture, draperies and bedding. While they are floating in the air, they may also attach themselves to ceilings and walls. House dust, as well as pollen and dander, may become attached to these proteins as well making the protein itself become the vehicle used for these other allergens to get in the air and inhaled.
If your pet has allergies, or conditions of it's own that causes excessive scratching or grooming (licking their fur), it will simply make the protein in the air a larger problem. For allergy and asthma suffers, this can mean even more severe of more frequent reactions.
An allergy to pets can develop at any time, even if the same pet has lived with you for years. Cats are the worst offenders, with dogs running a close second. If you are like most pet owners, the thought of removing your pet from the house is not the answer you are looking for.
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