How to Live with Pets if You Have Asthma | PetFirst
How to Live with Pets if You Have Asthma
Pet Care & Health

How to Live with Pets if You Have Asthma

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
2 years ago

Allergies are nothing to sneeze about.  According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), three in 10 people who have allergies have allergic reactions to cats and dogs – and cat allergies are about twice as common as dog allergies.

Living with asthma can make sharing your home with pets very difficult.  However, we know that giving up your best fur-friend is not an option for animal lovers.   

So, while there is no other way to ensure a home free of pet allergens, we hope a brief explanation and some suggestions can help everyone live side-by-side. 

You are allergic to the dander  

Many people think it’s the hair or fur that causes the allergic reaction.  However, it is actually a myth that the animal’s fur actually triggers the allergies or asthmatic response. 

The allergy-inducing culprit is the pet dander.  Pet dander is actually made up of very tiny bits of skin shed by cats, dogs, rodents, birds and other animals.  These microscopic particles cause a reaction in people who are allergic to the triggers. 

All animals with fur and feathers produce dander.  However, there is some truth to the fact that longer-haired animals may be more likely to collect and carry more dander than shorter-haired ones.  So if you suffer from asthma and other allergies, a shorter-haired pet may be a preferable choice. 

Any dander can put asthma sufferers at increased risk of symptoms depending on the severity of their symptoms and how well the symptoms are managed. 

Is there a hypoallergenic pet? 

So you have asthma, but you just cannot live without a pet.  You start researching furless felines and Google search “hypoallergenic pooches.” 

The bottom line is, while certain people may be more sensitive to certain dog breeds and cat breeds than others, a truly hypoallergenic dog or cat doesn’t exist. 

Any pet with fur carries dander around with it. 

If you are looking for a pet for a severe asthmatic, consider one without fur or feathers.  Turtles, snakes, or fish all make good options. 

No matter which pet is part of your family, make sure that your pet is covered with PetFirst Pet Insurance. Get a quote today

Controlling pet allergens in the home 

If a fur friend shares a home with an allergy sufferer, do what you can to minimize the pet allergens around the house: 

  • Keep pets out of bedrooms of allergy sufferers and asthmatics.
  • Wash your pet every week to reduce airborne allergens.  
  • Use air purifiers in the home to help remove pet allergens from the air.  
  • Keep pets off furniture and upholstery.  
  • Keep floors bare if possible.  
  • If you have carpeting, steam cleans it frequently.
  • Vacuum regularly.  
  • Change the vacuum bag often.  
  • Keep pets off of carpeted areas if possible.  
  • Make sure your pet is brushed outdoors (preferably by a friend or family member who does not have a pet allergy) to remove dander.  
  • Do not allow dust to build up in your home.  
  • Clean walls and woodwork in the home.  
  • Look into asthma and allergy friendly home products.  
  • Change and wash clothes you have worn after spending time with your pet.   
  • Talk to your doctor or allergist about medication or allergy shots. 

Create a pet-free zone 

Keep certain rooms off-limits to your pets.  Ideally, bedrooms and any rooms that have wall-to-wall carpeting are best kept pet-free.   

Restrict your pets to rooms with hardwood floors and tile, as these are the easiest to clean. 

The takeaway 

It will take a little extra effort and cleanliness on everyone’s part to care for a pet if someone in the home has asthma.  However, it is also well documented that humans reap numerous health benefits from having a pet. 

Take care of your health and your furry friends so that you can both live happy and healthy – together. Pet insurance provides peace of mind that if your pet gets sick or injured you don’t have to think twice about the financial aspect and just focus on your pet’s care.

We even offer Senior Pet Insurance Policies as well as Routine Care Coverage to fit every budget. 

Get a quote today

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