Pet dander can activate allergies. Learn how to breathe free in your home.
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Host: First question is an email from Erin, Norfolk Virginia. And she writes I love having my dogs inside, but I have friends that are allergic to them. What can I do to make my house more allergy friendly for my guests? Host: Pretty appropriate. Female Speaker: Yeah. Male Speaker: So common, you go to a friend's house and suddenly you get that itching. Now, most people think they are allergic to the pet hair, whether it is dog hair, cat hair or something. But actually usually the dander which is kind of like the old skin, there is the proteins from the oil glands and lot of the saliva that they lick themselves a lot in. So it's all that dander that they are allergic to, but what are the signs and symptoms are? You get into the house and you start to coughing, sneezing, the itchy red eyes, running nose, sneezing, even may be a whole skin reaction. Host: We all have dogs, what can we do to make our homes as friendly as possible to those who may be allergic to pets? Alan Schulman: Well, one of the first things that's really important to realize is exactly what you said, many people feel that it's their pet hair and dander, but it's really more the saliva, which is one reason why they really aren't any non-allergenic pets. Because to the best of my knowledge, there is no dog or cat that doesn't have saliva. Host: You are right. Female speaker: Yeah. Alan Schulman: So there may be some animals that supposedly could be less allergenic, but realistically there aren't any. Host: So the Obamas don't really have a dog that's not allergenic? Alan Schulman: Correct. Host: So may be the less of the dander effect. Male Speaker: But the saliva effect is still are there. And with the dog like Lulu, who is licking everybody and everywhere. Host: So every dog is truly a dog or a cat that can cause allergies. We have to have some ways to minimize the exposures. Alan Schulman: There are a few things what you could minimize them. First really what you do is you have to create a room in the house that is allergen free and really strictly prohibit the pet from going there, so that friends or relatives are in an area where they are not going to be exposed to this. The other, using some of the hepa air filters and cleaning thoroughly and frequently to decrease the amount of dander and hair that's around. Additionally what's really important is bathing your pet on a weekly to every other week basis. And there are a lot of different types of shampoos and rinses that could be used, as well as some of the Omega3 and Omega6 essential fatty acids supplements, so that you are not going to drive your pet out and make his skin or his hair coat worse, as a result of trying to decrease the allergens in your environment. Male Speaker: And then if it's really bit serious, your allergist sometimes can give immunotherapy, basically allergy shots to kind of help build up tolerance to your to your pet. So you can stay together. Alan Schulman: Absolutely.