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Controlling Asthma Triggers: Animals

Having allergies to animals can trigger asthma flare-ups. Your health care provider may test you for allergies to several types of animals. The allergies are caused by an animal’s dander (dry skin flakes), feathers, droppings, urine, and saliva. If you are allergic to pets, there are some things you can do to lessen your symptoms.

Dog laying on a bed
Keep pets off the bed and upholstered furniture.

Keeping Your Home Clean

  • Dust often with a damp cloth to lessen pet dander.

  • Keep your pets off of your bed and out of your bedroom. You spend a big part of each day there sleeping.

  • Keep your pets off of upholstered furniture, like sofas and chairs, and out of rooms with carpeting.

  • Use a special bag for your vacuum or use a vacuum designed to lessen pet dander and hair on carpeting.

  • Think about buying a home air cleaner with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. They help to remove allergens in the air.

Away From Home

  • You may have to avoid homes with pets. Even if the pets are outdoors during a visit, the dander remains.

  • When spending the night somewhere, ask to sleep in a room where pets aren't allowed.

Choosing a Pet

If you are considering a new pet, there are some things you should know:

  • For people with allergies to dogs and cats, it is not the length of the fur or coat or the amount of shedding that matters. All dogs and cats have dander. There aren't dogs and cats that are completely allergen-free.

  • Fish and reptiles do not cause allergies.

Online Medical Reviewer: Akin, Louise, RN
Online Medical Reviewer: Holloway, Beth, RN, M.Ed.
Last Review Date: 5/19/2014
© 2000-2014 The StayWell Company, LLC. 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.