Home
Healthy Living
Print|Email|Text Size: ||
Get Smart about Pet Allergies

Let’s start with some tough truths. “Non-allergic” or hypo-allergenic dogs do not exist (sorry, Bo Obama). You can’t eliminate dog’s allergens with special shampoos, topical sprays or oral agents. And there’s little evidence steam-cleaning carpets and upholstery helps control pet allergies.

 

That’s the myth-busting word from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). But all is not lost. ACAAI offers a few research-based suggestions for reducing pet allergen levels in the home.

 

Replace carpeting with hardwood, stone or tile. Carpeted floors act like big sponges that hold a hodgepodge of dust and allergens.

 

Limit or remove fabric-upholstered furniture and curtains. You want smooth surfaces from which you can wipe away allergens.

 

Wash bedding and curtains in one of three ways—in water at least 140°F with one rinse; at any temperature with two rinses; or in a steam-washing machine.

 

Use tightly woven protective coverings (with openings less than 4 microns) on mattresses, box springs and pillows.

 

Don’t groom pets in your home.

 

But before you do anything, be sure to accurately diagnose the problem. “I can’t tell you how many times I see patients who assume they’re allergic to a cat or dog and they get rid of it. Then we do the allergy testing and discover it wasn’t the animal,” says Dr. James L. Sublett, a practicing allergist in Louisville. “It’s unfortunate when you see that happen.”

 

Find a board-certified allergist at www.allergyandasthmarelief.org.

 

Print|Email
CommentsPost a Comment
Please note comments are moderated. After being approved your comment will appear below.

More From The Bark

By
Susan Tasaki
By
Nicholas Dodman
Dr. Matthew Breen with Churchill, North Carolina State University’s College of V
By
John Woestendiek
More in Healthy Living:
Vet School Profile: Colorado State University
Looking for Dr Right
Nail Trimming Tips
Winter Paw Tips
Seniors Dogs & Humans
Fetching Germs
Dog Washing Tips
GI Involvement in Behaviorial Issues
10 Easy Tips for Cleaning Up After Your Dog
Teach Senior Dogs New Tricks to Stay Healthy