Most of us have pets that live with us. They bring us comfort, companionship, and a kind of friendship you can't get anywhere else. We want the animals in our life to be cared for, and have the essentials they need to live a long healthy life. However just like humans, they can get sick and contract disease. If not properly treated for, they can become very ill and may even cause death.

A cat lover myself, I know first hand the dangers that are set in front of them. Air pollutants, pollen allergies, food allergies, cancers, blood disorders, and even their own hair can cause allergies. Although I mention these dangers are present around cats, they are also present around most if not all household animals. Pets are resilient if taken care of and have proper nutrition, but like humans, sickness is just around the corner.

In this article I'm going to talk mainly about the allergies that cats and dogs have. When a person has allergies, they have symptoms of runny or stuffy nose, itchy eyes, watery eyes, sinus pressure, sneezing, coughing, and sometime wheezing if its more serious. A pet has similar symptoms but mainly have eye discharge, sneezing, and skin irritations. Sometimes your cat or dog will cause self-mutilation because they will continually try to clean it. A cat's tongue is a rough service, so it's not hard for them to tare skin open. A skin irritation can get serious if the allergy persists and your pet continues to lick it.

Do humans and pets have allergies from the same sources? Actually, yes they do for the most part. An allergy is when our immune system responds abnormally to some everyday substance. Our body over-reacts and releases histamines which cause your symptoms. Your pet could be allergic to many things. To name a few; pollen, mold, animal hair, house dust, fleas, and grass. These substances cause an allergic reaction when inhaled, swallowed, or contact skin. Also, some foods can cause allergic reactions. In humans, these can be fatal and even cause death.

Treatment options for humans can be as simple as buying some allergy medicine over the counter, to more extreme measures such as sinus surgery. For pets there a few options available to keep allergies at bay, and keep those little furballs feeling better. It's almost impossible to get away from the source of allergies as many are from mother nature, but the following list may help reduce allergies in your cats and dogs.

1. Probably the most common way to reduce allergies is medication. Your vet may prescribe an anti-histamine to lower histamine levels in the body. This medicine will help to reduce the itchy, sneezy, runny nose. It may also help with watery eyes. If your pet has a hay fever, they may be prescribed a corticosteroid. This is a nasal spray used to help with hay fever symptoms and reduce inflammation. Decongestants can also help. They shrink swollen tissues in your pets nasal passages and make it easier to breathe. A more serious treatment option to consider is immunotherapy. It's a serious of shots, done over a series of weeks that exposes you to the allergy. It helps to build an immunity to the allergy so that you may overcome your symptoms indefinitely.

2. Another great way to reduce allergens is shampooing your pet. The cool thing about using shampoo on your cat or dog is that you both benefit. The shampoo cleans off the dirt and dander which reduces their allergies, and reduces your allergies at the same time. Its a win-win situation and your pets will have a shiny, healthy coat. And they will smell good! I've been buying an anti-allergy pet shampoo from the brand The Ecology Works. I order it from a site called AchooAllergy. I've been shopping there for a few years, and I havent had any problems. That shampoo works great on my cats. Of course this is my opinion so I can't say that it will work for your pets.

3. You may not think it, but the food your pet eats may affect its allergies. The most common symptom of allergies for cats and dogs is itching. Itching can cause skin irritations and rashes. If you didn't know already, the food they eat affects their fur and skin. So the food they eat may irritate their skin or fur, which causes them to itch. Isnt knowledge wonderful? With this knowledge you can create a test by switching foods and seeing if they stop itching and scratching. Your vet may recommend a certain type of food for your pet. One thing you can supplement with their diet is fish oil. It helps nourish their fur or coat.

Hopefully this article has shown you a bit about the dangers of allergies and how they affect your pet. It may not seem that bad, but allergies can cause problems down the road if not properly handled. Animals are supposed to bring joy to our life. Shouldnt we take good care of them in return?