In the UK, pets are the second most common cause of allergy in the home. If you have pet allergies you’re not actually allergic to cat or dog hair.
Instead the allergic reaction is caused by tiny proteins in an animal’s saliva. When animals groom themselves, they lick, and saliva coats the skin, fur or feathers. Skin cells covered in saliva are shed (this is called animal dander) along with loose hairs and fur. As dander is light and sticky even homes without pets may contain this as it tends to cling to clothes & shoes.
To help reduce the impact of pet allergy you should:
- Vacuum regularly, with a vacuum cleaner that has a good filter & suction.
- Confine existing pets to defined areas of the home.
- Remove carpets and rugs, if possible, from the rooms where pets are kept.
- Groom animals regularly outside to remove hairs.
- Clean surfaces, including walls regularly.
- Wash pet bedding frequently.