A brown and white dog wearing a hat Description automatically generatedIs your pet making your allergies worse?

Well its quite possible, we have some information that may help, so read on…..

Can pets make your allergies worse? Some people are allergic to pets or have asthma that is triggered by pet allergens. For these people, breathing in animal allergens can make respiratory symptoms worse and lead to a decline in the ability of the lungs to function. The concentrations of an allergen required to cause a reaction varies from person to person. 

People with allergies may experience upper and lower respiratory tract symptoms including congestion, sneezing, runny nose, chest tightness and wheezing. Other symptoms are itching, watery eyes, eczema and rashes especially if pets share your bed.

What is dander?

Pet dander is tiny microscopic flecks of skin shed by cats, dogs, rodents, birds and other animals with fur or feathers. These bits of skin can cause reactions in people who are severely or even only mildly allergic to these triggers.

Where does pet dander come from?

Dander can not only come from animal’s skin it can also be in the proteins found in saliva, urine and faeces from cats, dogs and other pets. Proteins from for example, dried saliva containing allergens may flake off from an animal’s fur and become airborne, this is then inhaled by a person with an allergy or sensitivity and a reaction is caused.

How do pet allergens spread?

Because they are so light weight and small pet allergens can circulate in the air for a long time, their jagged shape makes it easy for them to stick to furniture, mattresses, bedding, fabrics, clothes and are easily carried in and out of the house and bedroom.

Which animals are best for allergies?

Animals with fur may be more likely to carry allergens from other sources, like dust, but the fur itself is generally not a trigger. For that reason, short-haired or hairless animals contribute dander and allergens to indoor air pollution just as effectively as long-haired animals do. There is no such thing as a non-allergenic dog or cat, roughly twice as many people report allergies to cats when compared to dogs.

How do you get rid of pet allergens?

If you are sensitive or allergic to a specific type of dander e.g. cats or cat saliva, removing the pet from your home is the best way to improve air quality, reduce dust mites, reduce dander and allergens in the home. If this is not an option (we don’t blame you, we couldn’t do it either) then try…..

For the bedroom vacuum regularly with a HEPA filter and replace your current mattress with a Jellyfish mattress, treated with Ultra – Fresh dust-mites which feed on our and our pets’ dander can not live in the mattress. Wash your bedding regularly with eucalyptus oil and put through the dryer on high heat or leave in the direct sunlight for at least 4 hours. Regularly replace your pillows and use protective coverings if required (e.g. Pillow/mattress protector)

For the living areas regularly vacuum your furniture, rugs and carpets with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter and have your carpets and curtains regularly steam cleaned. And finally, do not allow dust to build up around the house e.g. on curtains, lounges in floor rugs this is where air borne dander will settle and dust mites will soon follow.

Take our Dust Mite Quiz and find out how many dust mites you are sharing your bed with! 

Information from the ALA www.lung.org
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