What should I do if I develop pet allergies? December 24 2020

If you or a member of your family has developed an allergy to your beloved pet, you're probably feeling devastated at the thought of parting ways. But before you take the drastic step of dropping your pet off at a shelter, we urge you to consider the myriad alternative options!

According to the Mayo Clinic, pet allergies are typically a reaction to dander, the dead flakes of skin shed by cats and dogs. Symptoms can present as similar to hay fever (sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes), asthma (wheezing, difficulty breathing) or skin ailments (itching, rashes). Try cleaning more frequently to avoid the buildup of dander, using air purifiers with HEPA filters throughout your home, and keeping pets out of the bedroom of the allergic family member.

Fortunately, mild symptoms may be treatable with over-the-counter remedies. If those are ineffective, prescription medications and allergy shots are also available. Meet with your doctor to discuss which medical treatments, if any, are appropriate options for you.

If none of these suggestions work to alleviate your allergies and it becomes necessary to find your pet a new home, check first with trusted friends and family members to see if anyone may be able to take in your furry friend. Bring your pet to a shelter only as a last resort, and only after carefully researching to make sure that the facility you're considering is a humane no-kill shelter that will provide a clean, safe and loving environment for your pet until his or her forever family can be found.

At a kill shelter, your pet has only about 72 hours to be adopted before it is destroyed, and even the most beautiful and loving pets are susceptible to the harsh emotional and physical conditions at overcrowded shelters.