(Photo chart courtesy of VET Depot)

Pet Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

This month is not only Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month but it’s also the peak season for allergy and asthma sufferers. A lot of people believe that they can’t live in a home with a pet when an allergy is present. Asthma sufferers also may steer clear of furry animals in the home due to pet dander that can accumulate around the home.

According to the American Pet Products Association’s National Pet Owners Survey, over 300 people with a pet allergy were asked by their doctors to give up their pets in order to reduce allergy symptoms. Only 21 percent of those persons actually adhered to the advice.

Approximately 10 percent of the population has allergies that are triggered by pet dander, urine and saliva. Those suffering from allergies to pets may experience red or itchy eyes, sneezing, congestion, shortness of breath, skin rashes, and swelling.

There are a lot of people who choose not to live with animals for risk or a reaction, however, there are ways that your loving pets can live in harmony with you and your family. Here are a few tips to help reduce the risk of irritation for asthma and allergy sufferers:

  1. Keep your Pet Groomed

How convenient? We do Grooming here. Keeping your pet bathed and groomed on a regular basis will help cut down on shedding and build-up of pet hair, dander and dirt. If possible, try bathing your animal at least once a week. Cats can also be bathed if started from a young age. When bathing your pet, use a shampoo that is animal-safe and never use a shampoo meant for humans.

  1. Use HEPA Air Filters

HEPA air filters help purify the air by removing dust and dander. Using HEPA air filters throughout the home will help you breathe easier and eliminate outbreaks. Here are the top 5 HEPA air filters.

  1. Have an Allergy-free Area in the Home

A safe-zone should be created for the person who suffers from asthma or has a pet allergy. Ideally, this would be the person’s bedroom where pets are not allowed. Hypoallergenic fabric should be used for bedding and other linens, as well as curtains and other fabrics.

  1. Keep Your Home Clean

A great way to minimize reactions to pets is to maintain a clean home. Routine vacuuming will help eliminate pet hair and dander build-up, as well as regular washing of linens, bed sheets, and carpets. Keep your pets off sofas, beds, and any other upholstered furniture. You may want to reconsider certain fabrics and furniture you have in your home to also help reduce irritants.

  1. Choose a Hypoallergenic breed of Dog

There are several dog breeds that have been known to do very well in homes with allergy and asthma sufferers. Although none are considered to be 100 percent hypoallergenic, there are a total of eleven dog breeds that the American Kennel Club classifies as “hypoallergenic” including the happy Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, the playful Maltese, the ancient Xoloitzcuintli, and the  family-friendly American Hairless Terrier.

More information on Pet Allergens on the Bucks County Courier Times article.

Interesting video on How To Control Allergies By Cats