(NAPS)—Good news for the estimated one in five allergy sufferers who have pets: There are ways you and your pet can live together. The experts at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology suggest you:
• Keep your pet out of the bedroom. You spend as much as a third of your time there. Letting a dog or cat in increases your exposure to dander and the likelihood of allergic reaction.
• Bathe your pet frequently. It’s not the hair shed by the dog or cat that causes you to suffer, it’s the loose flakes of skin he deposits around the house. Bathe your pet at least once a week and dry him as best you can to limit the animal’s shaking and stirring up more dander.
• Replace air filters regularly. With a pet in the house, you should replace the filter in your forced-air heating and cooling system at least once a month. A high-quality pleated filter offers more surface area to capture more dander than a flat-surface filter.
• Clean your house frequently. Doctors recommend frequent vacuuming of both hard-surface and carpeted floors, heavily upholstered furniture and draperies.
• Consider a central vacuum system, such as the new BEAM Alliance System by Electrolux. It offers the most cleaning power available to remove 100 percent of captured dander from the living area without stirring up dust. Its hose-handle power controls let you increase or decrease power as needed during cleaning. Quiet operation also prevents startling the dog or cat, reducing the amount of dander the pet will shed.
Reducing exposure through environmental controls, however, may not be sufficient for some allergic patients. You may need an over-the-counter or prescription medication to live comfortably with your pet. Ask your physician about the appropriate treatment for you.
To see more facts about living with allergies and pets, visit www.acaai.org.