You probably know someone with a cat or dog allergy, but can pets also be allergic to us? Allergies are caused by an overreaction of the immune system to a substance, such as pollen, peanuts, or pet saliva.

Just like humans, animals can have allergies to a variety of substances, and although it’s rare, some pets are allergic to our dead skin cells, known as dander. Different pets can even be allergic to each other’s dander!

Common allergy symptoms include breathing difficulties or skin irritation. If you think your pet may have an allergy, seek advice from your vet.

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Asked by: Patrick Ryan, Belfast

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Dr Claire Asher is a science journalist and has a PhD in Genetics, Ecology, and Evolution (GEE) at the University of Leeds. She also works part time as Manager of the UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems (RAS) Network, based at Imperial College London. Asher is also the author of Brave Green World: How Science Can Save Our Planet.