It is firstly important to be aware of the difference between a cause and a trigger. You may have heard that dogs and cats can cause asthma. But this is not really correct. Pets are not the CAUSE of asthma, but they are certainly a common TRIGGER.
Unfortunately for all animal lovers with asthma, pets can and do trigger asthmatic symptoms. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the animal or pet hair that is the trigger, rather animal dander or dead flaking skin. Animal dander is easily airborne and being microscopic in size, it is impossible to see. It sticks to everything so if you have animals, your carpets, rugs, curtains, even your bedding, and sofas are probably full of animal dander.
However, this doesn’t mean its curtains for Benji or Felix. There are a number of things that you can do in order to prevent animal dander from triggering your asthma or somebody you love. Regularly cleaning is paramount to reduce the amount of dander present within your home. That includes vacuuming with a HEPA vacuum, steam cleaning and washing of all fibrous type materials which harbors animal dander. Use an air filter to filter airborne contaminants. Wash your pets regularly too, to keep dander levels at a minimum. Also, it’s probably not a good idea for the asthma sufferer to sleep with pets whilst ever symptoms are present.
Living with pets doesn’t automatically mean bad respiratory health for asthmatics. It is important to know the facts and know what can be done to reduce or eliminate the possible asthma attack triggers.