More than a quarter of all Americans are likely to contract pet allergies in their lifetime, a new study finds.
And pet owners can protect themselves by avoiding the most common ones, researchers found.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found pet owners are nearly twice as likely to have pet allergies as people without allergies.
The findings suggest that people who have pet allergic reactions may need to take more precautions, the researchers said.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends pet owners avoid contact with animals, including dogs, cats, ferrets, and horses.
The survey also found that most pet owners reported their pet’s age, sex, and breed was a factor in the onset of allergies.
However, those with pet allergies reported more symptoms of eczema and asthma, as well as a higher risk of chronic health problems.
The CDC said the findings should prompt pet owners to be proactive in reducing their pet allergens.
“These findings suggest a need for vigilance in the pet ownership space and for a more active and proactive approach to pet allergies,” Dr. Daniel L. Gershoff, director of the CDC’s Division of Allergy, Immunology and Pulmonary Diseases, said in a statement.