Animals allergies recommendations
Remove the animal from home if possible.
The best way to reduce exposure to animal allergens is the removal of the animal from the home or place. In addition, you should perform a thorough cleaning of the house – upholstered furniture, carpets and other reservoirs because allergens dander can remain in the house in high concentrations, even up to six months after removal of the animal, especially in the case of cats.
What is worse is the constant exposure at home that develops more severe and permanent symptoms than intermittent exposure at friends or relatives houses. Family and friends who have animals should know about the patient’s allergy and refrain from bringing their pet home.
Indirect exposure to animals should be avoided as far as possible, and not go to places where you may encounter any. In the case of schools, the presence of animals in the classroom should be prohibited. It is recommended that students who live with pets wear clothes that have not been in contact with them. If people who live with the patient work with animals or have been in contact with them, such as horse riding, they should change clothes and shower before returning home.
If it is not possible to remove the animal.
If the patient decides not to remove the pet, there is a series of measures that can be advised to reduce the amount of allergens produced by the animal and their concentration in the environment:
- You should avoid touching the animal and try to wash your hands afterwards. If contact with an animal is made, a dust cover should be worn and removed later.
- Animals should be prohibited from accessing the bedroom and should not sleep there.
- The beds and pillows for the animals should be cleaned regularly and be located in a remote area – not allowing them to sit on the sofas and usual places where the patient stays.
- The house should be aired often, and air purification systems containing HEPA high efficiency filters can be used.
- Perform a thorough cleaning of the house with HEPA vacuum cleaners especially on mattresses, pillows, upholstered furniture and curtains, where more animal allergens are deposited.
- Cats and dogs should be bathed at least once a week to reduce the amount of accumulated dander allergen, and apply chemicals that remove loose scales (like Vetriderm®). It is preferable that a non-allergic person does this.
- Wash clothing that has been in contact with animals.
- Rub your pet regularly, 2 to 4 times a week with a damp towel.
These measures reduce the amount of allergen but do not entirely eliminate the symptoms nor substitute the desirability of removing the animal from the house or administering immunotherapy if available.