AAIQ   The Association of Allergists and Immunologists of Québec

Allergy to animals

cats, dogs, feathers, horses, rabbits, hamsters

All warm-blooded animals (including birds) may potentially trigger symptoms of allergy. There are no truly hypoallergenic cats or dogs. All have the allergenic protein in their skin. It is also found in hair, and in their urine and saliva.


It is recommended to avoid exposure to animals if you are allergic. This is the only truly effective means of eliminating symptoms. Removing the animal from the home is by far the best solution. After removing the animal from the home, you must wait several months (minimum 5-6) before the traces of the animal are significantly diminished. If you can't (or won't!) get rid of your pet, the following measures might be helpful, but despite these, you must still realize that symptoms may continue, and may contribute to a risk for developing asthma in the longterm:

Here are the recommendations to reduce your exposure to this sort of allergen::

  • a HEPA air filter.
  • keep the animal out of the bedroom.
  • wash your hands after contact with the animal and minimize contact with the animal.
  • washing animals regularly (weekly for cats, and every 2 weeks for dogs) may reduce the quanity of airborne allergen.


Simon Hotte, MD FRCPC
(translation: Andrew Moore, MD FRCPC)