We share some biological attributes with our pet dogs. Unfortunately, one of the things we share with them is that of being allergic to cats. Therefore, the answer to the above question is a resounding yes. In fact, a lot of dogs are susceptible to cat allergies.
Common literature has pictured the relationship of cats and dogs as adversarial. This stereotype image has been stamped in people’s minds long ago. There may be some truth in this if you will consider that dogs don’t want cats because of the felines’ dander although they may not be aware of it.
Dogs can get sick because of the dander that is generated by cats. While your dog maybe friendly with your cat, please understand that there is a possibility that your dog will get under the weather if it stays with the cat more than it should.
Dogs Can Also Have Allergies
Humans are not the only earth dwellers that have allergies. Dogs can have allergies as well. And in the case of your dog, when it is exposed to cat dander, it will sneeze a lot. Pray that the sneezing will dissipate in a short while or your dog will catch a more serious illness.
However, if you don’t give it the remedy it needs pretty soon it will go under the dumps. And you will have a bigger problem on your hands. Other things that can give dog allergies include dust, pollen and food – just like us humans.
Why Does Cat Dander Cause Allergies To Dogs?
Allergies, whether in humans or in animals, occur when the immune system of the affected individual has over reacted to an allergen. The allergen is perceived by the immune system as a threat. As such, it reacts by triggering a response to the perceived threat.
Cat dander is one of the culprits when a dog or a human manifests any of the symptoms of allergy. It primarily consists of Fel D1 which is a glycoprotein, a substance found in the sebaceous glands of the cat. Generally it is present in the urine and saliva of cats.
This Is Your Dog’s Allergic Reaction
When a cat grooms its coat, the Fel D1 in its saliva will mix with its hairs and skin. This results in the creation of allergens that are harmful to those who are susceptive to allergies. Unfortunately, dogs and humans are among them.
When the immune system of your dog perceives that the allergen has invaded the body, it will trigger a defensive response. It will produce immunoglobin, an antibody. When Fel D1 attacks it again, the dog’s immune system will release an anti-inflammatory substance called histamine.
It Is Not Just Dander That Affects Dogs
Dander is only one of many things that can trigger allergic reactions in dogs. Some of the triggers include cigarette smoke, insecticidal shampoo, weed pollens, feathers, perfumes, certain foods, prescription drugs, fabrics, plastic and rubber materials, mold, insects and many more.
How To Help A Dog Suffering From Allergies
If your dog is showing symptoms of allergy that is not subsiding within a reasonable period of time, you need to do the following:
1. Go for a vet check up
You need to have your dog examined by a veterinarian. The vet will investigate the history of the dog’s allergy. After examining the possible causes of the allergy, he will examine the dog’s physical condition. This will enable him to pinpoint the cause of the allergic reaction.
The vet might also recommend blood or skin tests to ascertain the real cause of the allergy. Or he may advise an elimination diet to see if it’s the food that causes the illness. Generally, the visit to the vet will give you an idea of what you need to do to get your dog up again in his own four feet.
2. Perform Some Preventive Measures
There are some preventive measures which you can do to help a dog suffering from allergies. Here are some suggestions:
- If you suspect that cats are the culprit, don’t allow your dog to get near a cat, especially the sleeping place of the cat. This will be difficult if you have both cats and dogs in your house. But you should be able to devise a way in which your two pets won’t be able to see each other every day.
- If you don’t own a cat yet but planning to have one, it’s better to get a hypoallergenic cat.
- If you think that dust is causing your dog to sneeze, then clean its bedding at least once a week. Vacuum it twice every week. It will be good for your dog if you can also do this to your rugs and carpets.
- If you suspect that the food your dog is eating causes its allergies, then give it food that is prescribed by the vet. Once the allergen is fully identified, give it specific foods that will not cause allergic reactions.
- Always keep the dog clean. Giving your dog a bath as often as possible will go a long way in making it strong and healthy and enable it to ward off diseases. At least give it a weekly bath. This will help remove allergens that may have deposited in its skin, and may also help relieve itching.
How To Alleviate Dog Allergies
You can alleviate the allergic suffering of your dog if you will follow these tips.
1. Ask the vet for allergy injections. If the vet has examined your dog, he will be more than willing to give the dog these injections. The injections will give it enough strength to resist the allergen.
2. Ask the vet for the right antihistamines to give your dog. The itchiness that your dog is feeling will subside.
3. When giving your dog a bath, use a special shampoo that stops itchiness and prevent skin infection.
4. Give your dog some supplements containing fatty acids. It may help relieve the itchiness that your dog is feeling.
5. If the allergic reaction is severe, ask the vet to give cortisol to your dog. The vet will be the right person to know it this is warranted. Don’t do it alone because this drug is very strong and needs to be attenuated according to the condition of the dog.
Yes, dogs are also allergic to cat dander. They are since their general body systems are quite similar to us.