Getting a Puppy or Kitty for the New Year? Get Allergy Tested First!

Before adopting a new pet for your family, ensure a smooth transition by getting everyone allergy tested.

Introducing a pet to the home can bring joy to a family, but may also cause stress if anyone suffers from adult or childhood allergies. Giving up a pet after an adoption is difficult for the family and the animal, so many people in Arkansas choose to first visit their doctor for an allergy test. If you want to assess whether an allergy might prevent your plans for adoption, start off by increasing your exposure to furry friends to see if you or your family members have an unwanted reaction.

Know the Symptoms of Pet Allergies

Before you adopt a pet, do a self-check for any symptoms of a potential allergy. Note that many people who have other types of allergies, such as to pollen or dust, also react to pet dander. Cat and dog allergies can cause nasal congestion, runny nose or sneezing, coughing or tightness in the chest, skin rash, hives, and itchy or watery eyes. If you have experienced any of these while petting your neighbor’s kitty, you may want to schedule a cat allergy test.

Spend Time Around Animals

You can do an informal pet allergy test by hanging out with an animal similar to the kind you are intending to adopt. Look after a friend’s dog or visit a local rescue to see the cats. If you are allergic, it may take extended exposure for symptoms to appear. If it is possible for you to borrow a friend’s pet for a longer stay, you will have a more accurate indication of whether or not you need a formal dog allergy test.

Get Medical Pet Allergy Testing

One of the most reliable indicators of a pet allergy is a test done by a doctor. Typically, this is a skin prick test, where a small amount of a common allergen is put onto the skin. If you are allergic, the skin will swell within 20 to 30 minutes. Your doctor can test for many different types of allergens at one time, including pet dander, pollen, ragweed and others. In addition to skin prick tests, allergy doctors can also run a blood test.

Allergy and Asthma Doctors

Arkansas Allergy and Asthma Clinic serves patients in Little Rock and Conway. If you want to know more about pet allergy testing or wish to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (501) 227-5210 or contact us online.