Unfortunately, pet allergies are among the most common types of allergies. When you're allergic to a particular pet -- say, a dog or cat -- you're not allergic to its fur. Your body is most likely reacting to its dander, or the tiny skin scales animals continually shed. If you own a pet, these scales will be everywhere, but especially in carpeting and upholstery. Some people don't have a problem with dander, but instead are allergic to an animal's saliva, particularly cat saliva.
Typical allergic reactions to a pet are a runny nose, sneezing and watering eyes, a rash, coughing or breathing difficulties, hives, and itching in the nose, eyes, throat or skin. To avoid setting off your allergies, don't own the type of pet you're allergic to, or keep the pet outside, if possible. If the pet is allowed inside, try to keep him out of your bedroom and off upholstered furniture and carpets. Installing wood, tile or vinyl flooring instead of carpet also helps. Frequent bathing and grooming of the pet may help keep dander under control. Having a pet dander allergy may also mean you can't wear wool.
If your allergy is severe, you may need allergy shots to keep it under control.