Respiratory Allergies

What is pet dander?

A Answers (2)

  • Pet dander is the dead skin cells that are shed by animals. When people are allergic to pets, they are typically allergic to pet dander, saliva, oil glands in the skin, or urine. Symptoms of a pet allergy include sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes. Some people may also develop a rash on their face, neck, and upper chest. For some people, pet dander may be an asthma trigger and they may develop wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and other breathing difficulties.

  • AHealthwise answered

    Animal dander is loose skin cells (like dandruff) from animals such as dogs and cats. These skin cells, which contain secretions from glands in the animal's skin, float in the air, where they may be breathed in by people.

    Animal dander is an allergen. Animal fur or hair is not an allergen. When a person is allergic to an animal, such as a dog or cat, the allergy may be to animal dander (skin cells) or to dried saliva from the hair of a cat.

    This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. To learn more visit

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