Can pets make hayfever symptoms worse?

S.A.C. Dip (Diet, Exercise & Fitness), Advanced Human Anatomy & Physiology Level 3
Ask Louise

17 May 2018

Pets and hayfever

There isn’t a lot of research into the effects of pets on hayfever symptoms but, using the information that is available, we can come to a few conclusions on the matter. Ultimately, there are three simple reasons why pets might make hayfever symptoms worse. However, as with any condition, hayfever differs from person to person. Some will experience constant runny noses whilst for others symptoms are focused around the skin or the eyes. Therefore, although pets may make some hayfever symptoms worse, this will not apply to everyone.

1 – Pet allergies can worsen hayfever

One study claims that hayfever sufferers that are also allergic to cats or dogs tend to develop symptoms earlier on in the season and these symptoms are more severe as well.1  The reasons for this are a little unclear, though it could be to do with the extra strain that is put on the immune system when it has to fight off both pollen and pet allergens. Therefore, in an attempt to improve the situation these researchers suggest treating the cat or dog allergy all year round. They also suggest limiting your exposure to animals but if you have pets this isn’t an easy task.

Read on to find out some tips on how to deal with hayfever when you have pets.

2 – Animal dander irritates hayfever symptoms

When the immune system releases the chemical histamine in order to fight off pollen, the skin becomes more sensitive than normal. It can become sore, red and itchy and anything that comes into contact with the area could make these issues more severe. This usually includes chemicals from toiletries and cleaning products but the likes of fur and animal dander also has the potential to cause further irritation. Animal dander is the urine, saliva and dead skin cells that the likes of cats and dogs produce. It is said that the animal dander from cats is stronger than the dander from dogs so it’s possible that Mr Whiskers is causing more intense skin problems.

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3 – Pets collect pollen

As the likes of cats, dogs and rabbits wander outdoors their thick fur can easily collect pollen. Therefore, when these animals return to the comfort of your home, they bring this pollen with them where it transfers to clothing, furniture, carpets and bedding. Before you know it your home has become a haven for pollen, exasperating all the well-known symptoms of hayfever.

What can you do?

The impact animals have on hayfever symptoms certainly depends on the severity of your condition in the first place. Some people for example, will be able to live contentedly with their cat, dog, rabbit or budgie without these animals ever having an adverse effect on their symptoms. However, if you’d like to discover whether animals do have a part to play in your hayfever, try some of the following tips below and see if things improve.

  • Support your immune system

Try Echinaforce Echinacea Drops  as during hayfever season these will support the immune system to help you get over symptoms. This tincture is made from fresh Echinacea meaning none of the plant’s beneficial properties are lost during the production process.

  • Pet-free zones

As you spend a lot of time in your bedroom at night, it may prove beneficial to keep animals out of this area. As well as having the potential to exasperate hayfever symptoms, animals can bring pollen into the area which will only make things even worse for you.

  • Pet grooming tips

Ensure you brush pets outdoors to get rid of pollen in their fur or, better still, get someone else to brush them! You could also use a damp cloth as this will collect pollen easily.

  • Get some vitamin C!

Up your vitamin C intake as this is known to have anti-inflammatory properties which may help with symptoms like itchy skin and sore throats. Oranges, broccoli, strawberries, cauliflower and mango are all great sources. You could even try our Hayfever Blasting Smoothie which has a selection of these beneficial ingredients!

  • When to walk?

Pollen counts are generally higher in the middle of the day so, if possible, try walking your dog out with this period. Counts tend to be lower in the morning and the evening so this is the best time to go out. Therefore, why not use this time to go for long walks and take a shorter one in the middle of the day? Have at a look at out local pollen count  to keep track of pollen levels - it has over 30,000 locations!

  • Cleaning advice

Ensure you dust and hoover regularly to remove pollen and animal dander – a couple of times a week should do it. However, when dusting, do try to use a damp cloth as this will lift pollen rather than just spreading it around. Have a look at my blog ‘Simple cleaning tips for allergic rhinitis sufferers’ for some more information.

  • Go herbal!

Our Pollinosan Hayfever Tablets address a whole range of hayfever symptoms such as sore throats, itchy eyes and a runny nose. They can also be used alongside other hayfever medications, should you be using any of them. What’s more, Pollinosan is non drowsy so will not affect how you go about your day to day life. To gain the most benefit from these tablets ensure your take them over a period of time rather than only when pollen counts are high.


A.Vogel Pollinosan Luffa Nasal Spray | Hayfever and Allergies | Approx. 220 Sprays | Can be Used From First Signs of Symptoms | 20ml


£ 8.25

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Cleansing nasal spray for hayfever causing pollen and other air-borne respiratory allergens.
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Did you know?

What you eat can have a dramatic effect on your hayfever symptoms. While anti-inflammatory and natural anti-histamine foods can help control your symptoms, foods containing dairy and foods rich in sugar can actually make them worse.

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