■Choice of Pet: It would seem that no breed of dog or cat is completely ‘non-allergic’ despite some claims that certain crosses can create a hypo-allergenic dog. Every dog sheds dander from its skin and it is this dander that is the cause of most allergies. However, there are certain breeds of dog that are less allergic making to some people than others and if considering buying a new pet it may be worth while spending time with certain animals to see if one breed causes you to have a greater reaction than another.
■If necessary keep your bedroom as a ‘safe zone’; and do not allow your pet in the room. Keep the carpets and curtains clean, use anti-allergy bedding. Keep any clothing that may have come into contact with your pet out of the room.
■If possible, limit the number of rooms that your pet can be in and ideally these rooms should have non-carpeted floors that can be mopped and cleaned easily. In rooms with carpets make sure they are cleaned and vacuumed regularly with a high efficiency vacuum cleaner.
■Use a high efficiency Hepa air purifiers to trap pet dander and other allergens around the house. To learn more click here.
■Wash your pet (or ideally ask someone else to) regularly. There are specialised shampoos and wipes that cleanse away allergens. If your dog has hair that moults ask someone to brush its coat regularly outside to remove excess hair and prevent it moulting in the house.
■Wash your hands regularly after playing with your pet and make other family members do the same.
■If a long time has been spent playing with your pet it may be a good idea to change and wash your clothes as pet dander settles on clothes and can cause allergic reactions.