All Natural Pet Allergy Treatments

Pet allergies occur when the human immune system reacts inappropriately to the proteins found in pet dander or saliva. This common, irritating condition has no cure aside from allergen immunotherapy, but many natural remedies can help pet allergy sufferers find much-needed relief. A combination of lifestyle changes, nutritional supplements, herbal medicines, dietary adjustments and saline rinses can help to reduce symptoms of pet allergies.

Lifestyle Changes

The Mayo Clinic recommends that pet allergy sufferers avoid contact with cats and dogs. However, many pet guardians have a strong bond with their companion animals and do not choose to surrender their pets because of allergy symptoms. As an alternative, guardians can remove carpeting, establish pet-free zones within a house and bathe pets as frequently as possible to eliminate dander.

Nutritional Supplements

Vitamin C and quercetin, two powerful antioxidants, can help to create a mild antihistamine effect in the body. Renowned naturopath Dr. Andrew Weil describes quercetin as one of his "favorite natural allergy treatments" and recommends nutritional supplements as a safe alternative to prescription drugs for the treatment of upper-respiratory allergies.

Herbal Therapy

Dr. Weil additionally recommends the use of stinging nettle, an anti-inflammatory, antihistamine herb, which may help to reduce symptoms of pet allergies and other allergic conditions. Other possible herbal treatments for pet allergies include goldenseal and licorice root. Always talk to a qualified practitioner before taking any herbal supplement.

Dietary Changes

Proteins found in animal-based foods--particularly dairy products--can create an inflammatory allergic response within the body. This can augment symptoms of both pet allergies and seasonal allergies. For allergy sufferers, Dr. Weil recommends a reduced-protein diet containing little or no milk.

Saline Rinses

Pet allergy sufferers can temporarily cleanse pet dander from the nose, throat, eyes and mouth using saline. Nasal douches with saline help to eliminate allergens from the mucus membranes and can briefly reduce discomfort and inflammation.