Living with pets and allergies

Pets are ONE of the triggers for asthma attacks, and are caused by the animal’s dander (flakes of skin), saliva and urine. People are more likely to be allergic to cats, and remember that a dog may bring pollen in on its coat which may be triggering the attack.

Before leaving your pet at the rescue centre door, consider if your pet really is a trigger. Some simple steps may be enough to mean that you can keep your pet and control your asthma.

  • Always consult your doctor and a specialist. Of course you and your family’s health should be the first consideration.

  • Cleaning out litter trays, grooming and bathing your pet should be done by somebody without asthma.

  • A fresh start - keep the pet outside whilst you give your house a deep clean (floors, walls, carpets and furniture).

  • When your pet comes in from outdoors, wipe it down with a damp cloth.

  • Bathe your dog weekly but find a very mild doggie shampoo so as not to unbalance their coat oils.

  • Don’t allow pets into your bedroom, keep doors shut.

  • Keep toys and personal items away from shared areas.

  • Keep pets off the furniture in the lounge – give them their own spaces to feel comfortable in.

  • Consider replacing carpets with washable rugs and add covers to furniture that can be washed, especially in the lounge.

  • Vacuum often, using a cleaner with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresting) filter. Make sure it is of the recommended standard (so it can eliminate 99,997 out every 10,000 airborne particulates that are at least 0.3 microns in size)

  • Put a HEPA air filter in the rooms where your pet spends the most time. Make sure it is the right size for the room and change the filters regularly.

  • Use a portable air filter to be kept near you about the house and when visiting friends.