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Managing Pet Allergies in Kids

child pet allergies

How Your Pregnancy Affects Your Child's Risk of Developing Allergies

Nearly everything you do can affect your unborn child while you are pregnant, so it's no surprise that your pregnancy can also have an effect on your baby's allergy risk.

Fish Oil Can Reduce Inflammation and Allergies

Pregnant women who took fish oil supplements in a Western Australia study had babies who were less likely to develop severe eczema or egg sensitivity. Fish oil supplements reduce inflammation which may trigger allergies.

Probiotics May Be Helpful

Another study examined whether the babies of women who took probiotics during pregnancy had a lower allergy and asthma risk. Although taking probiotics did not affect the asthma rate, it did lower the allergy rate. Researchers think that the effect is due to protective effect probiotics have on microbes in your gastrointestinal tract.

Early Exposure Is Also Important

Exposure to pets during a child's early days can also affect his or her allergy risk. Living with a cat during the first year of life reduced the risk of a cat allergy by 48 percent, according to a study published in Clinical & Experimental Allergy. Male teens who lived with dogs had a 50 percent lower allergy risk.

Are you concerned that your child's allergies may mean that you will have to give up your pet? Although rehoming a pet may be necessary if allergies are severe, most children can live with pets if you are willing to make a few changes.

The Problem

About three in 10 people who have allergies are allergic to cats and dogs, according to the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America. The Foundation notes that cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies. Many people assume all pet allergies are caused by exposure to dander, a combination of pet hair and skin cells, but dander is not the only allergen that triggers symptoms. Your child may also be allergic to your pet's urine or saliva.

How You Can Reduce Pet Allergens

Decreasing your child's symptoms starts with reducing allergens in your home by:

  • Bathing Your Pet. A weekly bath can lower allergens, although dogs may be more willing to endure the experience than cats. Bathing not only reduces the amount of pet allergens but also removes allergens that collect in your pet's fur, such as grasses and mold.
  • Getting Rid of Carpeting. Dander and hair tend to collect on carpeting. Although frequent vacuuming is helpful, you may not be able to completely remove allergens. It's much easier to keep hardwood, laminate and tile floors allergen-free.
  • Keeping Pets Out of the Bedrooms. Your children may complain, but the sneezing and wheezing will decrease if you make your child's bedroom a pet-free zone.
  • Washing Pet Bedding and Other Items. Washing any item in your home that can be washed will also reduce allergens. Pet bedding, slipcovers, throw pillows, curtains and other furnishings all collect dander and saliva.
  • Buying a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA)Cleaner. These cleaners are very effective at filtering out allergens and purifying the air in your home. Use one unit in your living area and another in your child's bedroom. Add HEPA filters to your heating and air-conditioning systems too.
  • Grooming Your Pet Outdoors. Brushing your pet indoors stirs up allergens. Do not let your allergic child brush your dog or cat, either indoors or outdoors.
  • Considering Non-Furry Pets. Fish and snakes may not be soft and cuddly but they also do not cause allergy symptoms. They may be a good compromise if your child has severe allergies.
  • Limiting Contact with Other Homes with Pets. Your child may have milder symptoms if she or he has lived with your pet from a young age. Although exposure to your pet's dander, saliva and urine may not trigger a strong reaction, things may be different when your child visits a friend's home, particularly if that family does not follow a strict cleaning protocol.
  • Trying Immunotherapy. Allergy shots can help reduce your child's symptoms, but he or she may not be enthusiastic about the idea. The shots work by exposing your child to a tiny amount of an allergen, then gradually increasing the amount over the course of months or years. Eventually, exposure to the allergen may no longer trigger a reaction or may only cause a mild reaction.

Do you have a question about the best type of pet shampoo to use to reduce allergens or concerns about your pet's health? Give us a call and let us know how we can help you.


Sources:

Annals of Allergy Asthma and Immunology: The Effects of Maternal Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on Infant Allergy, 3/14

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3961846/

American Academy of Pediatrics: When Pets Are the Problem, 11/21/15

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/allergies-asthma/Pages/When-Pets-Are-the-Problem.aspx

American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology: Pet Allergy Overview

http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/pet-allergy

Humane Society of the United States: How to Live with Allergies and Pets

http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/allergies_pets.html?referrer=https://www.google.com/

Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America: Pet Allergy: Are You Allergic to Dogs or Cats?, 10/15

http://www.aafa.org/page/pet-dog-cat-allergies.aspx

American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology: Prevention of Allergies and Asthma in Children

https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/at-a-glance/prevention-of-allergies-and-asthma-in-children

Reuters: Probiotics Linked to Lower Risk of Allergies for Kids, 8/22/13

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-probiotics-linked-to-lower-risk-of-al-idUSBRE97L0UK20130822

Fit Pregnancy and Baby: Pets, Pregnancy and Your Baby’s Allergy Risk

http://www.fitpregnancy.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-news/pets-enhance-pregnancy

Clinical & Experimental Allergy: Lifetime Dog and Cat Exposure and Dog- and Cat-Specific Sensitization at Age 18 Years

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21668818

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Testimonials

  •           8/29/2017

    I love Balboa Pet Hospital! Balboa Pet Hospital's staff is amazing! The staff is knowledgeable, caring and above all honest! I feel confident that my pets are getting the best possible care there. The staff has always taken time to answer all of my questions and if I think of something after my appointment, I can just email! I know I won’t have to wait too long for response.

    Unfortunately, this year I’ve had to make some really difficult decisions. The compassion the staff showed to both my pet and I made these unbearable times tolerable. I am indebted to both Dr. Del Rosso and (the wonderful) Dr. Ravn for their kindness, compassion and dedication.

    If you are new to the area or just looking for a new vet, please give Balboa pet Hospital a call!

  •           6/5/2017

    LOVE everything about this place!!! The people are all super nice & caring. I never feel like they’re trying to sell me stuff I don’t need. The vets (especially Dr. Alice Chan) are wonderful, I always fee; comfortable coming here whenever Walle has an issue. They even help me file the insurance claims after each visit! Would highly recommended any pet owners to see them for their fur-baby needs.

  •           6/5/2017

    My dog has been a regular patient since 7 years ago. Once in a while we visit other hospitals due to time conflicts. However, we always go back to Balboa Pet Hospital. My dog has bad allergy and the doctors and assistants always follow up with us after the treatments or visits, help us submit the insurance claims. It’s not a cheapest place to go but their patience and caring are irreplaceable.

  •           4/28/2017

    I’m glad to have found Balboa Pet Hospital near my home. It’s definitely a hidden gem! Dr. Chan saw my dog, Oreo, for her skin problem last week, and my three cats, Pepper, Tofu and Cola, today for annual check-up. She’s very patient (especially with Oreo who’s shy to strangers), knowledgeable and approachable. The front staffs are also very friendly and helpful. They are so prompt to reply my email (within a few hours when I checked back my mailbox). All my pets are about 1-year-old and I’ll definitely bring them here for their health issues/checkup in many years followed.

  •           5/4/2017

    Brought my dog here for a checkup and some minor concerns. Dr. Chan was very professional. She got my dog the treatment he needed and answered all my questions regarding my concerns. The rest of the staff were very friendly and gentle with my dog. You could tell that the staff are genuine animal lovers; definitely something you want when you entrust the health of your pet to someone.

  •           5 of 5

    Been bringing our animals to Balboa for over 25 years and will continue because they provide great advice and care. We love Dr. D and staff are really helpful and friendly. Now if I can find medical care for myself like my animals get at Balboa...

  •           5 of 5

    I have been a patron of Balboa Pet Hospital for almost 500 years now (wink). I love Everybody there and feel they are have always been a great resource and the BEST support system for everything pertaining to my pets.

  •          

    The staff is very kind and gentle, the doctors are very caring and patient when dealing with my scared cat Lulu. I appreciate the time they took to put her at ease and making this procedure as painless as possible for the both of us. Will definitely be spreading the word. Thank you Balboa Pet Hospital.
     

    Linda P.

    San Francisco, CA

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