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Andrew S. Kim, MD
Allergists Sniff Out the Truth About Managing Pet Allergies
Allergy & Asthma Center Of Fairfax
. http://www.allergyasthmadoctors.com/

Allergists Sniff Out the Truth About Managing Pet Allergies

If someone in your home has pet allergies, you can wash the dog twice a week, steam clean your carpet or treat your pet with sprays or drops to reduce shedding, but is there any proof that taking these actions help?

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) offers the following research-based environmental changes that can reduce the allergen levels in your home and may help stop symptoms

Replace carpeting with hard surfaces. Did you know carpeted floors accumulate 100 times more cat allergens than hard floors? Switch to polished surfaces like hardwood floors, stone or tile.

Reduce fabric-upholstered furniture. Research shows that upholstered furniture and curtains contain significant amounts of cat dander and even more than what is found on the floor.

Wash bedding and curtains. To remove dog dander from bedding and curtains, use one of these three techniques wash in water at least 140F with one rinse; wash at any temperature with two rinses; or wash in a steam washing machine.

Use tightly woven bed coverings. Protective coverings for mattresses, box springs and pillows are often recommended, and studies show that tightly woven fabric with openings less than four microns wide can reduce allergens.

Make multiple changes for best results. Studies show that making multiple indoor environment changes is required to significantly reduce pet allergens.

Pet owners with allergies should see an allergist, who will discuss treatment options, including whether allergy shots (immunotherapy) can offer pet allergy symptom relief.

There’s little evidence that these control tips work when it comes to pet allergies

Choosing a “non-allergic” or hypo-allergic pet – they do not exist

Bathing pets with water and special shampoo

Steam cleaning carpet and upholstery

Giving pet oral agents or topical sprays to reduce shedding

Using a HEPA vacuum

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