Can Your Pets Live in Your Home if You Have Asthma?

January 7, 2013 by Teresa.

Tags: pets asthma, animal lover, dog, cat, asthma attacks, triggers, has asthma, asthma suffers, allergic reactions, feline asthma,.

If you are an animal lover, it may be difficult to imagine life without a pet. A warm, furry critter that crawls onto your lap and welcomes your touch. Walking your dog, brushing your cat, listening to the sweet chirping of your bird are all cozy pursuits that can make you feel good. However, if you have asthma or are living with someone who has asthma, the simple pleasures of owning an animal can be sabotaged by ugly attacks. Suddenly, you may be faced with making a choice between fewer asthma issues or your loving pet.

An asthma attack can be triggered by lots of different things. Your triggers can also be very different than those of another asthma sufferer. Getting to know what your personal triggers are as well as learning how to avoid them is important. A few of the most common triggers include smoke from wood or grass fires, mold, cockroaches, outdoor air pollution, dust mites, tobacco smoke and our pets.

Sometimes, even if you are allergic to your animals, proper medication may be enough to minimize the problem. At least 30% of people with asthma are allergic to animals. If you are in this group and medication is not enough to control your attacks, there are a few other things that you can try before getting rid of your pets.

• Restricting access to your bedroom is highly recommended
• Not hugging or kissing your animal friend
• Vacuuming and dusting regularly
• Removing carpets
• Don’t change the litter box yourself
• Assign someone else the duty of brushing and bathing your pet
• Don’t clean animal cages
• Purchase an air cleaner

One train of thought that has persisted is that certain breeds of dogs or cats, those that don’t shed, won’t trigger asthma attacks. However, all warm-blooded animals produce allergy-causing proteins that are able to produce allergic reactions in humans.

If none of these suggestions seem to work for you, deciding to find a new home for your pet may be necessary. That can be a very tough decision. Remember that even after your animal has been removed from your house, you may still suffer symptoms for up to six months. It takes time to reduce the allergens in your home. Also, you will need to pay attention to whether or not your friends and relatives have animals in their homes.

If you have asthma, working with your doctor to help manage the symptoms is very important. With proper medications and lifestyle changes, life can be greatly improved. The more you know about asthma, the safer you will feel.

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